Eastern Road, Brighton
Every September we provide training to over 100 sixth form students at the private school Brighton College. The content of the training includes the important topic of loneliness and social isolation, how to communicate with older people and safeguarding vulnerable adults. Once this training has been undertaken sixth form students are matched with older people in the local community who they befriend for the full course of the academic year.
As a result of the most recent training Sharon Marks, the College coordinator of the community service programme, said:
“Thank you once again for a brilliant training session. Two of the pupils found it so inspiring that they have asked to change their placement so that they can befriend the elderly instead of helping people with their gardens!”
During the mid-way training session young people have told us that they had developed really good relationships with the older people they befriend. Within one Brighton and Hove Seniors Housing schemes, the manager informed the students that an individual who does not usually leave their home comes out every Wednesday just to talk to the young people. Other students have gained great experience of communicating with elderly people who have dementia and overall most students have proven to significantly make a positive difference in the lives of the elderly people they befriend.
"During our visits Kitty used to tell us about all the places she had visited during her life...She always told us about her stories and adventures with so much excitement and enthusiasm...One of the really touching things she did was her encouragement to make the most of our lives, enjoying them while we are young and really making the most of our time in school".
In return for our time all of our Time to Talk Befriending scheme members are invited to attend special events hosted by the College at Easter, during the Summer and at Christmas.
Albion in the Community NCS Project (Summer holiday scheme)
We have trained and supported over 30, 16-17 year olds on the art of communication with older people, the negative effects of loneliness and isolation in older age and the issues relating to adult abuse.
As a result of this partnership work young people undertook an awareness raising campaign about the need for intergenerational befriending.
Through strong links with local primary and secondary schools across the City we often invite children and young people to participate at events and help out with outreach activities i.e. making homemade Christmas cards and providing a special message to be delivered with our ‘Thinking of you at Christmas’ hamper campaign. We also attend assemblies and tutor groups to raise awareness about the negative effects of loneliness and promote inter-generational befriending.
“We are delighted with the work we are doing for Time to Talk Befriending. We chose the Charity as a group because we loved what it stands for. We are so happy to be part of it!” Jack, aged 16
Blatchington Mill School.
Thanks to the efforts of Louise Manzaroli at Blatchington Mill School we have developed a really positive relationship with young people aged between 14-16 years. Not only did the student’s help to serve Christmas dinners at a local sheltered housing scheme for older people in December 2015, but they raised money for Time to Talk Befriending at their Christmas bizarre!
Throughout 2016 Blatchington Mill School will continue to work with Time to Talk Befriending on a number of mutually beneficial opportunities. For example; Time to Talk Befriending will provide training that will help the pupils to develop their communication skills as well as inform them about the detrimental effects of loneliness in older age. In return, Blatchington Mill School pupils will provide integral support to the Charity through the provision of cake baking, befriending, serving refreshments and running activities at local events in the Hove area of the City.