West Dunbartonshire “Befrienders” are promoting their work through song.

Volunteers from West Dunbartonshire Community & Volunteering Services (WDCVS) got together with a local vocal coach to produce a promotional video with a difference.

To mark Befriending Week 2019, the group have practised to perform a special version of folk classic Wild Mountain Thyme.

Frank Gow, service lead, said: “Befrienders Week is important to us as it offers us the chance to say a special thanks to our volunteers.

“Through their efforts, our befriending service provides more than 11,000 hours of social contact and companionship to those in West Dunbartonshire who need it most.”

Befriending matches are made on a one-to-one basis with a trained volunteer who will provide companionship through regular visits or supported outings. “Befriendees” are often referred by a hospital discharge team, GPs or concerned family members.

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Judy Taylor, a retired nurse, volunteers with the scheme.

She said: “I had experience of respite befriending in Glasgow, but I was looking to get more involved in the local area.

“Befriending in this way was new to me, but I’m really enjoying it.”

Judy found a good match with Betty, who was in need of a friend.

Betty said: “My husband was diagnosed with Dementia a few years ago. He was at home for a while, but had to move into care, which was tragic for us both.

“We have no children and this year will be our 60th wedding anniversary.

“It’s been difficult but he seems to have settled in well, so I knew that I had to look after myself too.

“I value being independent, but things do get more difficult. When the opportunity came up to join the service I said yes.”

Judy added: “We meet nearly every week; we have a chat, sometimes we’ll go out to the post office or down to Morrisons, and coffee with millionaire’s shortbread is our guilty pleasure.”

Betty said: “I can say truthfully, Judy is now a very special person in my life. The day she visits is a delight for me. I enjoy her company and support.

“She doesn’t know this, but I count my blessings every week. I just hope other people can have an experience like this, it makes such a difference.”

Befriending is a free service for those aged over 60 who are at high risk of isolation. The service is delivered entirely by volunteers with coordination supported by WDCVS.

Befriending Week runs from November 1 to November 7.

The video can be viewed on the WDCVS YouTube page.