Friday, February 19, 2016

Lonliness and isolation on the increase in Nairn

Befrienders Highland Ltd (BHL) has today announced that loneliness and isolation are sadly on the increase in the Nairn area. In the past 12 months BHL coordinators have had over a 60% increase in the numbers of people who are referred for 1-1 supported volunteer befriending because of the loneliness created as a result of their mental illness or for those affected by dementia. They have been battling to recruit and train enough people to match with those referred and are urgently needing the help of local communities if this situation is to be resolved. 

Befrienders Highland has been providing 1-1 supported volunteer befriending services across the Nairn area, to people who are lonely and isolated as a consequence of mental ill health or those affected by dementia, for many years. These powerful friendships, offered through face to face social meetings (Inverness and Nairn) or by phone, letter and email across the wider Highlands, have been a lifeline for over 650 people who have benefited from the regular weekly social contact. Coordinator Alan Duncan, states that “we have a team of amazing volunteers whose friendship successfully helps to increase people’s self-confidence and helps them to once again feel valued members of their local communities and to feel they once again belong and have something worthwhile to offer. Over the years we have seen incredible transformations in people simply because of the power of friendship offered by our volunteers. The effects of friendship can never be underestimated”. 

Pictured is Alan Chaplin, Befrienders Highland volunteer, celebrating his
“Volunteer of the Year Award 2015”, won in the Highland Third Sector Awards, with David Stallard BHL Director.

Coordinator Sally Mackintosh says “we have a wonderful team of trained and experienced volunteers who give up an hour or so of their time once a week for engaging in social activity with someone who values their friendship. However, in order to meet this enormous increase in referrals we urgently need to recruit and train new volunteers. We need people aged 25+ to offer an hour a week. We will provide training and ongoing support and just need people to be a friend to someone and enjoy their company by meeting up or on the phone”. For further information please contact: 01463 235675 and speak to Alan or Sally or email:

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