Caring Homes’ Mellish House, an Outstanding Care Home in Sudbury recently hosted a YOPEY befriending event. A YOPEY Befriender is a young person who volunteers to visit a care home near their school and befriend lonely residents, many of them living with dementia. YOPEY Befrienders are easing loneliness and isolation whilst learning life lessons and vital skills for the future. As the homes residents enjoyed some interactive fun together around their newly installed ‘Magic Table’ they were joined by several female YOPEY volunteers. This proved to be a wonderful bonding experience which was enjoyed by everyone involved and it is hoped that it will transform the lives of both the residents and the student volunteers.
Having enjoyed interacting with the each other and participated in a variety of activities residents and the volunteers enjoyed an afternoon tea together, provided by the hospitality team at Mellish House.
Mellish House Manager, Maekhala Allan said; “Our residents really enjoy the company of the YOPEY volunteers and we all look forward to their visits.”
Mellish House in Sudbury is a purpose-built home providing residential care for up to 48 elderly residents living dementia and has been rated Outstanding by the CQC in their most recent report published late last year. People are always supported to maintain their interests and hobbies. The lead activities coordinator is extremely enthusiastic and passionate about the role they play and the support that people receive. Along with the activities co-ordinators, staff support people to participate in a range of social activities. These include both in-house activities and sessions led by external groups and entertainers. Three activities co-ordinators are employed; they provided activities and co-ordinated external events and social occasions.
YOPEY is a small organisation that started in 2004 and became a charity in 2012. Its founder was made an MBE in 2017. There are YOPEY Befriender schemes in Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Essex, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. So far over 500 teenagers have volunteered to visit care homes weekly to make friends with residents.