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Award-winning Lanarkshire befrienders scheme meets challenges of Covid pandemic

An award-winning befrienders project at an East Kilbride high school has adapted to meet the ever changing challenges of the Covid pandemic.

But the core aim of the scheme at Calderglen High, which began 11 years ago, hasn’t changed - to provide friendship and companionship to older members of the community and foster links between the generations.

The scheme was founded by community stalwart Avril Anderson in conjunction with Claremont Parish Church and has won praise far and wide.

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With the project during lockdown relying on phone calls between the senior pupils involved and the elderly residents they befriend, all involved were delighted to return to in-person visits - with strict guidance in place.

But with the spread of the Omicron Covid variant, plans had to adapt yet again.

Founder Avril said: “The S6 pupils on return from the October break were able to get the befrienders project off the ground.

“It began with pupils going along to EK food bank with volunteers from Claremont Parish Church. Some went along to Cafe Clare to help out there and chat with the seniors, which proved very successful.

“All pupils taking part had to have a jab and take a lateral flow test before visiting any senior residents.”

She added: “The home visits were warmly greeted by both seniors

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county Anderson: Main News

An award-winning befrienders project at an East Kilbride high school has adapted to meet the ever changing challenges of the Covid pandemic.
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