Bute Befrienders welcome funds boost

Bute Elderly Befrienders has welcomed news of grant funding which will secure its future for the next three years.
Bute Elderly Befrienders has welcomed news of grant funding which will secure its future for the next three years.

Bute Elderly Befrienders has been awarded a major grant, securing its future for the next three years.

The project has been awarded grant assistance to the amount of £12,703 from The Bank of Scotland Foundation and Foundation Scotland, helping to ensure the long-term future of its work on Bute.

As a result of the funding the Befrienders will be able to extend its number of outreach worker/minibus days from three to four.

The Bute project, which operates under the umbrella of Cowal Elderly Befrienders SCIO, works with a referred client group of over 65s living at home or in sheltered housing, and identified as experiencing some degree of loneliness and isolation. Based in the community, Bute charity worker Pieter Van Der Werf and his team of volunteers work closely with the health and social care team to provide a service designed to increase social opportunity, promote independence and provide support throughout the ageing process.

The project currently works with 35 elderly people per week (60% are over 80) and will increase this to around 50.

Robin Miller, Befrienders Project Co-ordinator, said: “It’s wonderful news to be able to confirm that Bute Elderly Befrienders will be able to continue to provide its service to the elderly community on Bute.

“I know that Pieter and the main referring agencies within health and social care will be relieved that our services will be able to carry on with our work and help to keep our clients involved in the life of the community. Fantastic community support allowed the service to continue in 2015 and 2016, and, building on this, it’s particularly gratifying to be able to confirm the long-term continuation of the project at this time.”

Philip Grant, Chair of the Scottish Executive Committee, Lloyds Banking Group and Chair of the Bank of Scotland Foundation’s Board of Trustees said, “We are delighted that our grant of £12,703 has helped Bute Elderly Befrienders extend the service they provide their community.

“The Bank of Scotland Foundation is proud to support charities in Scotland to enable them to continue to deliver valuable support and make a tangible difference to the local communities in which they operate.”