Kincardine and Deeside Befriending held its annual general meeting in Banchory on September 14.
The charity aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people by matching them on a one to one basis with volunteer befrienders.
Just over 50 people attended and enjoyed the business side of the proceedings as well as music from David Hood from the Music in Hospitals scheme.
Guest speakers Ron Michie and Liz Marchant struck a chord by sharing personal experiences of befriending and its life-changing benefits on their loved ones. Liz Marchant recited a poem about her mother whose life was turned around when she was matched with a befriender in 2014:
‘And when you first meet your Befriender,
You definitely won’t want to ‘return to sender’,
Because these special people really care,
They’re warm, they’re friendly but most of all, they’re there,
Because they truly understand
The value of companionship, of offering a hand,
As the great wheel of life begins to turn,
There’s a lesson that we would all do well to learn,
Because while we may not all have a Doctor’s brain,
We should not take our own skills in vain,
Within us, we have the ability to cure
A condition that so many have to endure,
An epidemic that has gripped the nation,
The debilitating state of isolation.
Liz Marchant then presented certificates to volunteers who have given long service to KD Befriending, including Angela Broad who has been a Befriender and committee member for 10 years.
Due to the growing demand for befrienders for older people, volunteers are currently needed in Deeside (Banchory, Aboyne, Torphins and Ballater). Anyone who can spare a couple of hours once a week or fortnight should get in touch with the Deeside coordinator, 01330 823368 or visit www.kdbefriending.org.uk