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Befriending scheme pilot

| Written by Shetland News

Shetland Befriending Scheme are (from left to right): Lynn Tulloch, project co-ordinator; Laura Russell, ASN development worker; Mairi Jamieson, young adults development worker and Elaine Nisbet, 60+ development worker. Missing from the photo is Amanda Brown, children and young people’s development worker. Photo: Hans J Marter/ Shetland News Shetland Befriending Scheme are (from left to right): Lynn Tulloch, project co-ordinator; Laura Russell, ASN development worker; Mairi Jamieson, young adults development worker and Elaine Nisbet, 60+ development worker. Missing from the photo is Amanda Brown, children and young people’s development worker. Photo: Hans J Marter/ Shetland News SHETLAND Befriending Scheme has been given £17,000 to undertake a one-year pilot project with vulnerable people aged 16 and over who are struggling to live independently.

The scheme will collaborate with Shetland Islands Council's housing department and it will focus on people having difficulty with managing their own home or tenancy.

Volunteer befrienders will be matched with participants on a one to one basis and they will be encouraged to take part in activities aimed to increase their ability to live on their own as well as reducing feelings of loneliness.

The scheme also hopes to increase people's opportunities to take part in group activities outside their home and to boost social interaction skills.

SIC housing manager Anita Jamieson said the local authority has seen a rise in the number of people living in small households who are suffering from isolation.

"We have worked closely with Shetland Befriending Scheme to identify a gap in the market and developed a service that will fill a real need in Shetland," she said.

"With smaller households on the increase we are seeing increasing numbers of people affected by social isolation and that can have a significant impact on their wellbeing and ability to sustain their accommodation."

Shetland Befriending Scheme, which is managed by Voluntary Action Shetland, currently offers support to young people and young adults aged between seven and 18 and to adults aged above 16.

Anyone interested in becoming a befriender should contact 16+ development worker Mairi Jamieson on 01595 743964 or e-mail befriending@shetland.org.

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