At the end of the five year Cadwyn Môn project funding, it’s an ideal opportunity to look back on the befriending service’ssuccess. The team has experienced many changes during this period, some exciting, many beneficial and unfortunately,at times, sad, but throughout this period the service hassucceeded beyond all expectations.
In addition to providing a service to almost 700 individuals, 89 volunteers have been recruited to provide support, not only through Cadwyn Môn,but also in their own communities. Community expectations have also changed in recent years, with the need for services for people living with early dementia increasing week by week. Providing a service for people with early dementia was not part of the original project,however by now the need has increased to a level that cannot be met elsewhere. During the befriending period (10 to 15 weeks) people have the opportunity to increase their confidence, enjoy the company of others and receive information regarding other services and organisations that can be of help to them.
The kind of support provided by volunteers varies tremendously; company for the afternoon, help to access transport, participating in activities, attending a club and much more, indeed anything the individual wishes, within reason. The Cadwyn Môn Friendship Club’ meets monthly and has provided a lifeline for many by giving them the means to keep in touch with the team while having fun at the same time. It also gives the team the opportunity to identify any issues that may arise.
As part of the overall project there are other exciting activities taking place such as the Older People’s Bilingual Eisteddfod that is now in its ninth year and also
the participation project that took place Spring 2016. The project ‘Ryffians’ was funded by the Wales National Theatre and led by Theatr Fran Wen as a pilot where two generations came together to produce a piece of art. The work was exhibited at Oriel Môn over an extended period. The aim of the pilot was to see how different age groups communicate and work together and was as much about the process as it was about the finished work. It was deemed a huge success by all those that participated.
Training has been a vital part of the project with various opportunities during the period, for instance, ‘Dementia Friends’ sessions and following on from these ‘Dementia Champion’ training to encourage communities to become dementia friendly.
Looking forward to the future, thanks to the faithful and committed volunteers, the ‘Clwb Cadwyn Môn Club’ has been formalised with a constitution adopted in January. Even though the official project comes to an end March 2017, we are very pleased that befriending will continue into the future through the club.
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