Kirkcaldy charity appeals for volunteers

Margaret Lawrence and Nicola Young.
Margaret Lawrence and Nicola Young.

A Kirkcaldy charity that offers companionship to isolated people in the community is appealing for new volunteers.

Care and Share Companionship was launched in April, and aims to tackle the issue of loneliness among older people in the Kirkcaldy area.

Care and Share founder Teresa Naylor.

Care and Share founder Teresa Naylor.

The charity also wants to raise awareness of the benefits to the health and wellbeing of the people who use its services.

Teresa Naylor founded Care and Share after she felt that there was a need for a charitable group that provided much needed support for older people.

Teresa said: “I used to work for Marie Curie, managing volunteers who would go out and support people and families affected by terminal illness.

“After being made redundant, I wanted to put my skills to use and help people in Kirkcaldy.

“What we do is match volunteers to the person in need of support, and what we hope to see is that they become more than just companions, but friends with the people they are visiting.”

“Our volunteers are extremely adaptable and do two to three hours a week, but the organisati0on needs more people to come on board – specially men.”

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Margaret Lawrence (92) from Kirkcaldy, who has lived in Poland and the USA, has been matched with Nicola Young, and they have become friends in the five weeks’ they have known each other.

Margaret said: “The house is quite quiet when I’m on my own, and then Nicola comes in. She is a breath of fresh air – it’s a wonderful thing.

“We go out for coffee and chocolate eclairs, and we even went to the Polish restaurant in the town once. It has been fantastic.

“Nicola and I just get talking and we just don’t stop, I think Care and Share is an excellent organisation.”

Tha relationship is also a two-way street.

Nicola said: “Even although there is quite a big age gap between us, we have found that we have got a lot in common.”

She got involved because she had some free time and decided to volunteer.

The team also includes Sue who has been a volunteer since April, and has been matched with Irene Nicol from Kirkcaldy.

Sue said: “It’s a great idea. Kirkcaldy really needs something like this.

“I come to see Irene every week and we go for scones or out to the shops – people forget that simple things like this are harder for older people to do on their own.

“As you get older your world gets smaller, as your family falls away or your friends you can find yourself in this bubble and before you know it your world can become unfamiliar.

“People ask me ‘what is in it for me’ and I always say it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.

“After I have left Irene and we have had a good time, I drive home feeling good about myself, knowing that I am making a difference to someone.”

Irene added: “When Sue visits it makes my life so much easier, we clicked almost immediately as well.

“Sue takes me out to the shops or we might just have a cup of tea, it really makes a difference when I can get out the house and get some fresh air.

“I lost my husband about three years ago so things have been quite hard for me, both Teresa and Sue are gems.”

If you would like to volunteer, call Teresa on 07494 129 112.

Or email careandsharecompanionship@gmail.com