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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

Quarriers North Ayrshire Dementia Befriending Service

Today marks the start of Dementia Awareness Week 2018, which runs from 04-08 June. It is also National Volunteers Week from 01-07 June!

Did you know that 90,000 people across Scotland are living with dementia?

A dementia diagnosis changes the lives of not only a person with dementia, but also their family and friends. I am very much aware of this fact, as my own mother has it as did both of my grandmothers.

Dementia Awareness Week 2018 focuses on making sure nobody faces dementia alone. It’s vital that people living with dementia feel recognised, valued and supported in their local communities. Alzheimer Scotland is committed to providing a wide-range of dementia-specific support in the heart of local communities.

People can live well with dementia with the right information, care and support. By learning just a little bit more about dementia, you can make a big difference.

Today, at Quarriers North Ayrshire dementia befriending service in Saltcoats I met some lovely people who are doing just that. I awarded each with an achievement award as part of national volunteers week and stayed on for an hour to chat with each about their experiences.

Quarriers North Ayrshire dementia befriending service began at the end of 2015 and was up and running by 2016 Quarriers acquired funding from the Life Changes Trust; a charitable which aims to make a positive and permanent change in the lives of both children who have experienced being in care, and people diagnosed with dementia.

Quarriers’ service covers all of North Ayrshire. People who diagnosed with dementia can be referred through a variety of sources, such as social services, the NHS services family referrals.

Befrienders spend time each week with the person they are matched with and it is jointly decided what activities they do.

There are several organised music, arts and crafts and reminiscence groups. Or they might go shopping, for a coffee or visit a garden centre. The decision is theirs. Over time they will build up a relationship that respects professional boundaries.

For more information about becoming a dementia befriending volunteer, please contact:

ElizabethAnn Macdonald, Volunteer Co-ordinator, Dementia Befriending Service on 01294 444450 or 07812 228447, or via email at



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Kenneth Gibson SNP

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