Could you befriend an elderly person?

Staff and volunteers at the Amber Valley CVS pictured from left are community development worker Collette Watson, help at home co-ordinator Diane Topping, befriending projects worker Kerry Smith, receptionist John McCullough, volunteer Wendy Keeton and chief executive Lynn Allison.
Staff and volunteers at the Amber Valley CVS pictured from left are community development worker Collette Watson, help at home co-ordinator Diane Topping, befriending projects worker Kerry Smith, receptionist John McCullough, volunteer Wendy Keeton and chief executive Lynn Allison.

Ripley tops a poll of elderly people in need of company and friendship, according to figures released by the Amber Valley Centre for Voluntary Services.

The CVS says there are currently 76 older people on its waiting list for befrienders - people who can offer a friendly face and a listening ear.

The Ripley and Heanor News has launched a campaign to highlight the number of pensioners around Amber Valley who are in need of a befriender - someone willing to donate some of their own time to help an elderly person combat lonliness with a regular cuppa and a chat.

Of those currently on the CVS befriender waiting list, 17 of the elderly people waiting for someone to volunteer to brighten their days are from Ripley.

Closely behind is Belper, where there are currently 12 people waiting for a befriender, with a further five from Heanor and eight from Somercotes.

CVS chief executive Lynn Allison said: “I’ve seen first hand the difference that befrienders have on elderly people who use the service.

“After spending time with someone they often have the confidence to go and speak to their friends and neighbours.

“It really is quite key to remember that all these people need is just two hours of someone’s week.

“The more people who get involved the sooner we can give everyone the attention they deserve.

If you’re interested in becoming a befriender to an elderly person or want any information, contact 
Kerry Smith on 01773 512076.

And get in touch to let our news team know what you think of the CVS befriending scheme.