The Leanne Fund has launched a new Befriending service for individuals affected by Cystic Fibrosis in the North of Scotland.
The service has been developed in response to feedback from those who have received support from The Leanne Fund.
The Fund is now recruiting Befrienders to provide this service throughout the Highlands and Islands and Grampian.
Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager for The Leanne Fund said: “We are delighted to launch our new Befriending service, ‘Befriending with The Leanne Fund’ offering vital emotional support to individuals, helping them to gain confidence, increase self-esteem and get out and about in their community.
“Our service will match each applicant (Befriendee) with a volunteer Befriender who will visit or meet up weekly for at least 6 months to provide some company and, in some cases, assistance with accessing particular interest groups or sources of support.”
The charity’s Befriending Co-ordinator will match Volunteer Befrienders with Befriendees who have similar interests and will be able to provide the required support.
In addition, the new service will include telephone and Skype Befriending as some individuals with CF may want to talk to others affected by the illness.
The charity operates an open referral system which means that people can self-refer or be referred by family, friends or by their CF Team/health professionals. You may request a referral form by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Befriending is a flexible service and can be carried out from Monday to Friday during daytimes or evenings. A meeting might include just having a coffee and a chat, going shopping or going to watch a film.
Volunteer Befrienders are now being recruited across the North of Scotland ie Inverness, Fort William, Aberdeen, Aberdeen-shire, Moray, Western Isles
We’re looking for friendly, positive and upbeat volunteers to join our team.
If you are interested in this exciting new opportunity please contact Chrisetta Mitchell on 01851 or email email@example.com to request an information pack.
No experience is necessary as full training will be provided.
Chrisetta concluded: “We are pleased to be in a position to launch this new initiative which will add a further new service to benefit those affected by Cystic Fibrosis. It is well documented that increased social support reduces depression, increases self-esteem and therefore improves quality of life. We hope our service will be well used and look forward to receiving referrals and enquiries from potential volunteers.”
The Leanne Fund has supported even more families affected by Cystic Fibrosis through its Development Project which is now moving into its second year.
Following the award of funds from The Big Lottery Fund last year, the Fund’s Development Manager and volunteers have been working hard to expand services from the Highlands and Islands to the Grampian area and develop new projects in response to demand.
New initiatives include ‘On the Move’ – a service to support a young person with CF towards independent living and 'Over the Rainbow’ which is an extraordinary wishlist or experience for those in the final stage of illness.
Chrisetta Mitchell, Development Manager said: “The Leanne Fund has been well received in Grampian and we are pleased to be in a position to provide vital services to an additional 100 patients and their families who live within this region which extends to Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, Moray and the Northern Isles.
“The Leanne Fund services are well used and hugely appreciated by all and we are so grateful to everyone who has supported us during the past twelve months to allow us to continue our work to improve the quality of life of those affected by Cystic Fibrosis. We look forward to a great year ahead with new fundraising initiatives and also the launch of our new Befriending service.”
The difference The Leanne Fund makes to the everyday lives of those it supports is summed up in a series of short films, one of which highlights the experience of Isle of Lewis schoolboy Rowan Macleod.
He and his family talk about his daily routine which includes medication and physical activity and the challenges that presents for family life on an island.
The short films tells his story and how The Leanne Fund has made a difference to him and his family.
Dad Uisdean said: “As a family we are now much more about the ‘here and now’. If we want to do something we find a way to do it. Our mindset is to live for the moment and go for it.
“The Leanne Fund do great work for children with CF. Their lives revolve so much around medicine. It is great for them to have activities which have no connection to their treatment and enables them to live life to the full.”
To watch Rowan’s video visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByU20dDNUWc
It was their toughest challenge yet but a hardy team of five ladies completed an epic adventure last Friday climbing seven Munros in less than 24 hours all in aid of The Leanne Fund.
The five friends set off at 4.30am finishing 19 hours later at the summit of their 7th Munro.
The team - Chrisetta Mitchell, Jimina MacLeod, Chrisell MacLeod, Mina Nicolson and Donna Barden - say it was worth every step as they have now raised more than £2,000 for the charity which supports young people affected by Cystic Fibrosis and their families.
Describing the adventure, which was complicated by the weather conditions, Chrisetta Mitchell said:
“It was so tough, the toughest physical challenge I’ve ever undertaken.
“It was really quite scary in parts, when you were scrambling along a ridge at 3000 ft with sheer drops either side! But our guide Connor was fantastic and he kept us focused every step of the way.
“I think what we hadn’t fully appreciated was the number of summits we had to climb along the route – we were actually on 17 summits in total throughout the day with majority of Munro height ie over 3000 ft. After we reached our 6th Munro, a heavy mist had come down over the arete and Ben Nevis and Connor advised that we could not continue the route safely so we finished our challenge on another mountain of Munro height, Carn Dearg Meadhonach.”
She explained that the training walks led by Robert Sinclair were so helpful in preparing them but that nothing could ultimately prepare them for the 19 hours of endurance.
She added: “We are so grateful to our sponsors Calmac and Horshader Development Trust, and to everyone who has supported us along the way. Our current total stands at just over £2,500 but our justgiving page will remain open for another few weeks if anyone would like to make a donation.”
Jimina Macleod said: “What a journey it has been from our first tentative clamber up Ben Bragar, all the early morning trips to Harris to that nervous, excited feeling when we finally set off at 4:30am in a mist of midges!
“Nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking beauty or the tranquillity of these momentous mountains. Don't get me wrong it was one of the hardest, scariest things I've ever done but the sense of achievement reaching the summits of all these peaks was immense. Although I'm so relieved it's finished and I never have to climb a mountain again!”
Mina Nicolson said: “We were slightly apprehensive before and wondering if we would last the course but our training was invaluable and we had plenty puff to propel ourselves up these giants! The scenery was stunning and we are very grateful for to have had the experience, even although some bits of the course were slightly hairy. We are all very grateful to have been kept safe and well throughout our journey. Wonderful team work!”
Donna Barden said: “It was good to bag some Munros, experience stunning views of Scotland's wonderful mountains, had some scary moments, but I'm very glad to have been part of a great team!
“We had special moments such as a beautiful rainbow appearing which was very special. Life is a journey of experiences and our Munros will always prominently feature! We live in a beautiful world.”
Chrisell Macleod said: “It was stunningly beautiful at the summits of each Munro although scary at times getting there, it was an exhilarating journey. Showing us the wonder of God’s creation and a real sense of achievement completing this challenge.”
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