Befriender '18

YOPEY Befriender

Young people supporting the elderly in care homes

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2018 – year of YOPEY Befriender!

2018 is the first year YOPEY will be focusing exclusively on growing YOPEY Befriender, which we have been trialling since 2013. Young People of the Year awards, which we have held since 2005, will be taking a back seat while we see how much good this charity and the young people we recruit, train and support in care homes can do with YOPEY Befriender.

All the new 2017-18 YOPEY Befrienders who visit care homes weekly are using the new YOPEY Befriender web app. Check it out here... 

We also aim to grow the junior YOPEY Befriender scheme where we take younger school pupils into care homes for an introduction befriending, care homes and dementia, in the hope that they will want to return to the care homes to visit more regularly later in their school careers.

Only scheme in Essex (currently) underway

Teenagers from a Chelmsford school have been trained to make friends with elderly people living with dementia and are now visiting a local care home.

The sixth-formers from Chelmer Valley High were recruited by the charity YOPEY and trained at Madelayne Court care home. Both the school and care home are in School Lane, Chelmsford.

Now that they have passed checks by the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service, the young people have started to walk from their school to visit the home’s 100-plus residents, some of whom very rarely

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Relatives of people with dementia praise YOPEY Befrienders...

A scheme linking young people with care home residents is revolutionizing the way each generation sees the other.

According to the Alzheimer’s Society the UK now has 850,000 people with dementia, with numbers set to rise to over a million within 10 years.

The pioneering YOPEY charity recruits and trains young people to befriend elderly people with dementia and supports them in care homes to befriend lonely residents. Its YOPEY Befriender scheme, which has grown from two care homes and three schools to over 20 care

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Fifth Watford school joins YOPEY Befriender

A fifth Watford school has joined the ‘YOPEY Befriender’ scheme, where young people are trained to relate to people with dementia and visit lonely residents in care homes.

Watford Grammar School for Boys has followed Francis Combe Academy, St Michael’s High, Parmiter’s and Watford Girls’ Grammar in taking part in the scheme.

YOPEY Befriender is run by the national charity YOPEY, which is short for Young People of the Year and was started in Hertfordshire. Its founder Tony Gearing was made an MBE last year...
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Mr and Mrs YOPEY make young children Dementia Friends

Nearly 60 10-11 year-olds at a Haverhill school have been trained to be Dementia Friends and will now be visiting residents at a care home in the town.

Tony and Jo Gearing, of the Stradishall-based charity YOPEY, gave an assembly about befriending lonely elderly people with dementia to 200 children at Burton End Primary Academy in School Lane.

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More schools and care homes joining – will yours be next?

Thomas Gainsborough School (TGS) in Great Cornard, Suffolk, is the first school in 2018 to complete its YOPEY Befriender training and begin visiting residents at two local care homes. 

The care homes are the first in the Caring Homes group to join the YOPEY Befriender scheme. Caring Homes joins Care UK and Runwood Group, who are already working with us.

The 20 volunteers from TGS are joining about 150 other sixth-formers from schools in Poole, Nottingham, Wymondham, Mildenhall, Great Durnmow and Mansfield, who have been visiting

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Council, care home and school praise YOPEY Befrienders

Teenagers from a Mildenhall school have been trained to make friends with elderly people living with dementia and are now visiting a local care home.

The sixth-formers from Mildenhall College Academy were recruited by the Suffolk charity YOPEY and trained at Mildenhall Lodge care home in the town.

Now that they have passed checks by the Government’s Disclosure and Barring Service, five of the young people have started to walk from their MCA6 centre in Sheldrick Way to the care home in St John’s Close to visit

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Rewards for most dedicated YOPEY Befrienders

YOPEY likes to persuade businesses local to YOPEY Befriender schemes to donate rewards for young people volunteering on our schemes.

So far this year we have blagged driving lessons, free tickets to go bowling and GoApe, restaurant vouchers and gym memberships.

These rewards are in addition to the badges awarded through the yopeybefriender.org web app and certificates for those volunteering at least 30 hours. YOPEY founder Tony Gearing will also write personal references for those volunteering at least 30 hours.

All hours must be submitted

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TGS back for second year with new care homes

Teenagers from a Suffolk secondary school have been trained to make friends with elderly people living with dementia.

The sixth-formers from The Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard were recruited by the Suffolk charity YOPEY and trained at the Mellish House care home in the village.

Once they have passed DBS checks, the aim is that once a week the 20 young people will walk from their school in Wells Hall Road to Mellish House and its sister care home Hillside in Kings Hill and visit the two home’s 90-plus residents, some

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Royal praise for Befrienders, care home and YOPEY

YOPEY Befrienders from three schools in Poole, Dorset, have been visiting Care UK's The Potteries since November 2017.

YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE invited the current High Sheriff of Dorset, John Young, MC, JP, DL, and his wife Henrietta to visit the scheme. They met lots of girls from Parkstone Grammar and were very impressed by the friendships the YOPEY Befrienders were making with residents.

The High Sheriff, who represents the Queen and came in court dress, said: "Thank you for including me and my wife in the presentations

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Befrienders meet 'the Queen'

Not all the Poole Befrienders were able to meet the High Sheriff of Dorset, who represents the Queen. So YOPEY founder Tony Gearing MBE took along a lifesize cardboard cutout of Her Majesty for some of the YOPEY Befrienders from Corfe Hills School to be photographed.

Don't be offended, Your Grace, please.

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© YOPEY registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales as charity number 1145573
Registered with the Registrar of Companies for England and Wales as company number 7751145

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