Befriending service issues festive appeal

John, who has been with his befriender for two years, will be 94 on Christmas Eve
John, who has been with his befriender for two years, will be 94 on Christmas Eve

A local charity is urging people in the Deeside area to help support older people who may alone this Christmas.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending works to combat loneliness and isolation in the elderly community.

According to Age Scotland, 54,000 older Scots will spend Christmas on their own.

New figures also show that nearly 65.000 Scots aged 60 or over feel lonelier during the Christmas period, while 200,000 regularly go three or four days without speaking to anyone.

Kincardine and Deeside Befriending's Deeside co-ordinator Lisa Wass said: "We aim to reduce loneliness and social isolation by matching an older person on a one-to-one basis with a volunteer befriender.

"During 2016, Kincardine and Deeside Befriending supported over 100 older people providing weekly or fortnightly visits to offer much-needed companionship and social stimulation."

John (pictured) has been matched with his befriender Judy for two years. He lives alone in a caravan and is unable to go out due to poor health and frailty. He will be 94 on Christmas Eve but has no family to celebrate the occasion.

John relies solely on the goodwill of his neighbour and his befriender who visits once a week to take him out.

Judy said: "It’s heartbreaking to know that so many older people will spend the Christmas period alone. I will be popping in to see John and hope to take him out for his birthday on Christmas Eve."

Anyone who enjoys the company of older people and has a couple of hours to spare every week or fortnight should get in touch with the charity.

Volunteers are particularly needed in the Banchory, Aboyne and Ballater areas.

For further information contact Lisa Wass on 01330 823368 or 07816958839.