Colne care homes to benefit from Friends’ scheme?

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A caring councillor is hopeful to launch a new Friends’ scheme in Colne — in a bid to tackle the issue of loneliness in care homes.

The project, which is the brainwave of Coun. Neil Butterworth, aims to match residents with volunteers so that they receive conversation and company from a “fresh face”.

The ex-soldier, who represents the Horsfield ward, came up with the idea after he befriended a resident himself.

His weekly visits proved to be so popular that he began to explore ways in which other residents could benefit.

Coun. Butterworth has since been in talks with various care homes and potential volunteers across the town, and now aims to get a scheme up and running in the foreseeable future.

He said: “I spoke to an old man, who I’m not going to name, at a care home.

“He was fed up because everybody was getting visitors and he wasn’t, and I became his friend. It is nice for the residents to see a fresh face now and again.

“If you are sat in a room and other people are getting visitors, seeing their grandkids, and you’re just sat watching TV, having lunch, and going to your room, it is devastating.

“We will have to match the right people together, so it will take a while.”

Seven possible volunteers have so far expressed interest in helping with the scheme.

Coun. Butterworth is now organising for a tea party to take place on Sunday, May 19th, to bring care home staff, charity workers and volunteers together.

The event, which will be held at The Union Exchange between 4pm and 7pm, will include refreshments, live music and performances. Coun. Butterworth has asked to speak to willing volunteers prior to the party.

For more information contact Coun. Butterworth on 07747 843186.