Eric Liddell Center Befriending Services

The Eric Liddell Centre has developed befriending services for carers. Loss of social networks is one of the most common impacts of caring. Befrienders can help rebuild a carer’s sense of confidence, inclusion and self-esteem, which in turn promotes increased well-being.

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Befriending Project

The Eric Liddell Centre has developed befriending services for carers. Loss of social networks is one of the most common impacts of caring. Befrienders can help rebuild a carer’s sense of confidence, inclusion and self-esteem, which in turn promotes increased well-being.

Support for Unpaid Carers

In addition to supporting the person living with dementia, we also run services to support the people who look after them every day. The role of a carer can be isolating and stressful. A Carers UK survey found that 8 in 10 carers feel lonely and anxious. Finding ways to cope with the demands of the role and getting the occasional break help to extend the time that carers can keep their loved ones at home.

Befriending

Our befriending service pairs carers with trained volunteers who meet with them regularly to provide companionship and a break from their responsibilities. They are matched on interests and circumstances so have a good start at building a relationship. They may meet weekly for a coffee or to attend a fitness class or other activity. The feedback we get from carers about this programme is overwhelmingly positive. This service makes a personal, positive impact on their lives and helps them sustain the role of carer for longer. We were able to help over 500 carers in 2018.

Befrienders support carers to become more engaged with the community, or simply have a break from caring for a little while.

The service is free, however, carers will need to consider budgeting for any activity they attend with a befriender. If you would like to find out more please contact Sally Sorrie on 0131 357 1271 or email Sally.

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Dementia Carer Befriending

Are you a carer of a person living with dementia? Would you like to have a befriender who gives you time each week just to be yourself? Befriending aims to remove or lessen isolation carers may experience as a result of their caring role.

Our volunteer befrienders have an understanding of dementia and carers’ needs, and are willing to spend time listening to, encouraging and supporting a carer. Befrienders support carers to become more engaged with the community, or simply have a break from caring for a little while.

Some carers like to get out and about and attend activities of interest. Others may want to meet simply for a coffee & chat.

For further information contact Martha Pollard, Dementia Support & Education Co-ordinator: email pollardm@ericliddell.org or phone 0131 357 1271.

This work is supported with funding from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Students from Napier University recently spoke with one of our Volunteers about his experience of the Befriending service.

VOCAL (Voices of Carers Across Lothian) will be piloting the following surgeries within our premises specifically for carers during the month of August

Health Surgeries with Vocal @ the ELC

Tuesday 6th August

These surgeries are led by an NHS nurse.  The appointment would take 45min.  Appointments can include: A health “MOT”, a chance to ask about your own health or strategies to safe-guard your health & wellbeing.  These sessions are FREE.

Benefits Surgeries with Vocal @ the ELC

Tuesday 13th and Tuesday 27th August

 If you don’t know what benefits you are entitled to or would like support in applying for benefits, then why not book an appointment and get some helpful advice.

Allowances can include: carer’s allowance, pension credit, attendance allowance, council tax, universal credit, self-directed support and Personal Independence Payments.

Please call Martha (0131 357 1271) or Sally (0131 357 1270) direct for an appointment time or to discuss options.

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Lunch Breaks

Lunch Breaks is for carers and the person they care for (who is living with dementia), where they can enjoy a relaxing time doing recreational activities together with the company of others.

One of the goals is to help reduce a sense of isolation through peer support, as well as through simple enjoyment of the activities and interaction.  The group shares a hot lunch together followed by a varied programme of activities including multisensory sessions involving poetry, singing, period objects, and more.

Lunch Breaks meets on Fridays from 1.00pm – 3.30pm.

For further information contact Martha Pollard, Dementia Support & Education Co-ordinator: email pollardm@ericliddell.org or phone 0131 357 1271.

This work is generously funded from the Life Changes Trust. The Trust is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.