Dedication of volunteers praised

Thursday, 30 July, 2020

image of June fraser

Three volunteers have been praised for the positive impact they have made in the lives of young people in East Dunbartonshire over the past decade.

Jeanette Baird, Elaine McCulloch and June Fraser recently celebrated 10 years as volunteer Befrienders with the East Dunbartonshire Young Persons Befriending Scheme.

The Scheme matches responsible adults who have the time to help with young people aged from eight to 18 who are experiencing difficulties in their lives.

To mark the occasion Jeanette, Elaine and June were all presented with certificates and flowers by East Dunbartonshire Health & Social Care Partnership in recognition of their selfless work.

East Dunbartonshire HSCP Interim Chief Officer Caroline Sinclair, said, "The Young Persons Image of Jeanette bairdBefriending Scheme offers an invaluable service in our communities and Jeanette, Elaine and June should be commended for giving up so much of their time over the past 10 years to help.

"There are many young people who experience problems at home, at school or in their communities that make their lives difficult or stressful. As befrienders, they have helped to make a difference by encouraging, listening and supporting them and on behalf of the HSCP I would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication."

The volunteers befriend young people on a one-to-one basis and go with them on outings in the community, for a bite to eat, to do sports, go to the cinema, or even just a walk and a chat once every two weeks. The aim is to increase the confidence and self-esteem of the young person and to be someone they can trust.

Jeanette Baird from Lennoxtown explained why she got involved in the scheme.

"I just wanted to help people as I have quite a caring nature," Jeanette said.

"After reading about the Befriending service in the local newspaper I decided to get involved as I wanted to help people in any way I could. My kids had all grown up at that point so I had the time.

"It's been challenging at times but it has also been really rewarding. I've been paired up with the same young person for about seven years now and we get on really well.

Image of Elaine"If you are thinking about getting involved then I would say go for it as you will get so much from it."

Over 20 approved Befrienders already take part in the scheme, which has been running since 1998 and has helped numerous young people across East Dunbartonshire but the scheme always needs more volunteers.

If you interested and would like to find out more about Befriending, please contact us on 0141 777 3000 or Sally on 07901 510105 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday).