Nineteen Year 12 student volunteers have recently been recruited and completed their training course to become volunteers for North Douglas Live At Home Scheme, a Manx registered charity No.715. The volunteer-based organization offers support and friendship to older people in the communities they serve, who may be isolated, or unable to get out and about as they used to. There are six of these schemes operational in the Isle of Man, that serve over 300 older people.
The joint initiative with St Ninian’s High School has been co-ordinated between Jo Dixon, Manager of North Douglas Live At Home Scheme, and the Assistant Head of 6th Form, Miss Crawford. In preparation for their volunteering students have completed training that incorporates: Police vetting procedures, Data Protection, Confidentiality, Health & Safety, Risk Assessment, Boundaries, Body Language and Vulnerable Adult Training with Karen Winter, Senior Social Worker from IOM Govt. Department of Social Care.
Over the next couple of weeks, in pairs, they will be introduced to a registered Live At Home member, who they will then go on to visit on a weekly basis for around an hour. The aim is for both generations to get to know each other and gain insight into each other’s lives and ultimately for a lasting friendship to develop. It also gives students the opportunity to improve their communication skills and for Live At Home members to share their wonderful and interesting life experiences.
Jo Dixon comments, ‘We hope to continue to roll this programme out to future year 12 students and are incredibly grateful to all involved at St Ninian’s High School for their support in helping facilitate this exciting intergenerational initiative.’
On Tuesday 3rd July, six of St Ninian’s Year 12 Live At Home scheme volunteers also supported the Tea for Two Hundred fundraising event by helping to serve afternoon tea. Jo Dixon adds, ‘The students were absolutely fantastic, they worked so hard and were so polite and friendly to everyone. The feedback from those there, whether Live At Home staff, volunteers or members was lovely and thoroughly positive. They really made it a great day!’
If you are interested in finding out more about the scheme or would like to volunteer, please contact Jo Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org.