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New funding boost for befriending scheme

Shetland Befriending Scheme coordinator Lynn Tulloch.

THE SHETLAND Befriending Scheme has reacted with delight after being awarded a £15,000 grant from the Robertson Trust to support its service to islanders over the age of 60.

The 60+ section of the befriending scheme aims to support older members of the community on a one-to-one basis, using trained volunteer befrienders to reduce feelings of isolation and encourage individuals to remain as independent as possible, enjoy increased social connections and contact within their community.

The scheme recruits volunteer befrienders and matches them with a 60+ person and together they participate in a range of activities aimed at encouraging a positive, healthy and active lifestyle.

Voluntary Action Shetland’s executive officer Catherine Hughson said: “We are delighted that the Robertson Trust have supported this very important project.”

Hughson offered her congratulations to befriending scheme coordinator Lynn Tulloch and her team for gaining the funding in “what is extremely challenging times on the funding front both locally and nationally”.

The befriending scheme thanked the Robertson Trust for the award, adding that anyone interested in more information about the service and/or volunteering can phone development worker Elaine Nisbet on (01595) 745898 or email befriending@shetland.org.

It is the third piece of welcome news on the funding front for the scheme this year.

In May it received £105,000 towards its service for dementia patients from the Life Changes Trust, while in February the BBC’s Children in Need appeal pledged £108,000 towards its scheme for young people with learning disabilities.

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