A unique project aimed at supporting elderly victims of abuse has been launched in Fife.
The Elder Abuse Recovery Project, run by Elder Abuse Scotland, offers help to elderly victims of abuse, whether that’s financial, physical, emotional or psychological.
The project is being piloted in the Kingdom, and the first batch of volunteers have been trained up.
The organisation is now accepting clients, 55 and above, who have been the victim of abuse.
The volunteers provide emotional support, encouragement and friendship, and aims to rebuild the confidence of the victim.
The scheme is focused around milestones for the victim, so they reach the point when the volunteer is no longer needed.
“There are befriending projects, but we are so much more than that,” said Ian Sloan, the project co-ordinator.
“What we do is to help the victim recover from the abuse they have received.
“There’s a lot of different kinds of abuse – physical, emotional, physiological, financial.
“Financial abuse is a big one.
“There’s the scammers. The more insidious ones are the mail and online scammers, where people are persuaded to part with their cash.
“The other type is through the family. Sadly, that is very prevalent.
“Less common is sexual abuse. People think it doesn’t happen – sadly, it does.
“We’ll look at each individual and the abuse and tailor our response to that. It also depends on how the person has reacted to the abuse.”
The project is also appealing for more volunteers to come forward, particularly in central and north Fife.
The volunteers will be partnered one-to-one with a victim, helping them regain their confidence and go back to living a normal life.
The aim is that the clients and the volunteers would be partnered up for around a year.
Ian explained: “What the project plans to do is working with the trainees and then they’ll be matched with an older person who has been abused.
“They’ll come up with small steps they can achieve with a view to getting their life back on track.
“That could be going back to groups they stopped going because they had lost their confidence.
“We want to empower them – and to empower them to say no.”
Volunteers must be over the age of 18, willing to undergo disclosure checks, and able to commit at least four hours per week for at least six months.
If you are interested in volunteering, visit www.elderabuse.org.uk/scotland for an application form, or contact Ian on 07464 737 157 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you, or someone you know, would like to receive support through this project, contact Ian using the same details.
If you are concerned about harm or abuse of an older person, contact 080 8808 8141.