Caring in the Community – Yopey Dementia Befriending Scheme
Vandyke Upper School Sixth Form students are once again demonstrating their caring nature and commitment to the local community by volunteering to become Dementia Befrienders in a local care home in Leighton Buzzard.
Twenty-five Year 12 students received training recently from YOPEY founder and Chief Executive Tony Gearing (MBE) and will begin their work shortly, providing much needed support for elderly residents in the community. Director of Sixth Form, Mr Downey, explained that the students were very moved by Tony Gearing’s presentation on dementia during a recent visit to the school during an enrichment lesson. This spurred a huge response from the Sixth Form students who were keen to become part of this national programme that trains young people to befriend elderly residents in local care homes, some of whom suffer from dementia.
Mr Downey explained that “Achieving excellent academic results is clearly an important aim of Sixth Form life at Vandyke but we want our students to benefit from a wide range of life experiences that will support them in growing into rounded young people, ready to take their place in society. The Yopey Dementia Befriender Scheme will, I am certain, prove to be an amazing experience and I would like to thank Tony Gearing for providing our students with this invaluable opportunity.”
This scheme, alongside Smile Malawi, organising a Christmas Party for the elderly in the community, in-class support and a range of other voluntary activities are an important part of the wider curriculum for Sixth Form students, supporting them in developing important social, personal and employability skills.