Wymondham befriending scheme links academy to care home

Wymondham sixth-former Erin Ketteridge with resident Alan JohnstonPicture care of YOPEY

Wymondham sixth-former Erin Ketteridge with resident Alan JohnstonPicture care of YOPEY - Credit: Archant

A charity scheme that sees young people forge strong bonds with elderly care home residents has set up roots in Wymondham.

The charity Young People of the Year (YOPEY) has set up a befriender scheme with Wymondham High Academy that will see students visit Windmill House care home in the town.

It is hoped the visits will especially help residents with dementia and who feel lonely.

The charity's founder Tony Gearing has trained 23 sixth-formers with the help of a dementia services manager sent in by the care home's owner Runwood Homes.

Now trained as befrienders, the youngsters will visit the home for an hour a week.


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Mr Gearing, who has been setting up the schemes for three years, said: 'They have said they will do this for a year and I am sure many of them will become good friends to some of the loneliest residents.'

Jonathan Rockey, academy principal, said: 'It's important to bring the different generations together. The YOPEY befriender scheme is a great way for our young people to give something back to society and connect with their elders, while developing such vital skills as communication, empathy and independence.

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'For those seeking a career in medicine, it gives them first-hand experience of working with those with dementia.'

YOPEY is looking to create a scheme in Norwich between two schools and a care home.

To take part, call 01440 821654 or email hello@yopey.org

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