‘It makes such a difference, these small things.’
Karis Neighbour Scheme began in 1999, when local GPs realised that many of their patients were visiting the surgery for more practical support, or because they felt lonely.
What is Karis BeFriends?
It soon became apparent to those running Karis Neighbour Scheme that there was a particular need for some older people who were living on their own with no friends or family nearby and so Karis BeFriends was introduced to provide additional support for the local elderly community.
Karis BeFriends supports the elderly community across Birmingham, and helps to prevent isolation and loneliness by organising a variety of events, such as afternoon tea, for people to attend, but also through their befriending scheme, where volunteers visit older people who may not be able to leave their homes.
The scheme offers friendship and connection and gives their service users the chance to build new friendships, get to know other older people, as well as the volunteer team and share time together which people often find really precious. Alongside this befriending, volunteers also aim to provide practical help such as assisting people in getting to appointments, providing advocacy where there are issues that need resolving, and enabling people to continue their interests and hobbies.
Ultimately, Karis BeFriends aims to enable people to continue to thrive and enjoy a better quality of life into their later lives and to stay connected.
If successful, what will you use your LoveBrum funding for?
LoveBrum’s funding will allow Karis BeFriends to provide a Christmas gift bag to everyone attending their annual Christmas party, as well as spreading Christmas cheer and distributing them to all those who won’t be able to.
The remaining funding would allow the project to expand their services throughout 2019, and volunteers would be able to accompany older adults on individual trips like going for coffee or to the garden centre. Karis BeFriends would also be able to organise larger group trips or events to allow their service users to continue to have new and exciting experiences.
Cost of project
Where can people go to find out more about Karis BeFriends?
Helen Bell, Project Co-ordinator
Tel: 0121 455 7524