Dumfries & Galloway News
The latest news from the Dumfries & Galloway branch of Food Train.
We like to hear what our customers want from us as a service provider and what volunteers are prepared to do to help us achieve this, so regular forums are important. We held our latest Friends service forum in Castle Douglas this week to do just that and we gained lots of ideas and information to take away to consider. Pictured are staff with customers and volunteers who attended from across the D&G region.
Our Dumfries and Upper Nithsdale members went to the fabulous Cumnock Factory Outlet store this month (back by popular demand) for food and shopping together. Great fun was had by all. Pictured are some happy members about to set off home with shopping on their laps! Photo taken by our wonderful volunteer driver, Gobert. Thanks as always to our volunteers for helping to support the trip and to the staff at the shopping outlet for their warm welcome and help. We will be back!!
We have new befriending matches underway in the Stewartry area, some involving taking a dog along to a local older person! If you can help us in this area as a volunteer befriender, please call Shelley or Isobel on 01556 288427. Owning a dog is not essential!!
Our Friends members in the Stewartry area enjoyed a lovely trip to the Old Schoolhouse Tea Room at Ringford on the A75 on 1 May and enjoyed a good healthy meal, chat and company. Great fun!
Thanks to our local volunteers for helping to make this happen on a regular basis. #kindness
A befriender training workshop was held in Annan recently for some old and new volunteers to keep them up to date on the role and service. This is a key requirement under the Quality in Befriending scheme that we have accreditation in. Thanks to all who attended.
Our Friends members from Mid/Upper Nithsdale enjoyed a lovely trip to Heathhall Garden Centre (and Pat's Pantry) in the April sunshine this week and had a lovely lunch, good chat and time for shopping. Great fun!
Our new Stewartry Friends branch held a fun get together in Dalbeattie recently where a few new members were in attendance for the first time, as were our friends from Stewartry Care. We had a TV Theme Tune quiz (won by Carol's team) and a game of Play Your Cards Right (no Bruce) for Easter Eggs and the famous Food Train Speedboat. If you are interesting in coming along as a member (age 65+) or a volunteer helper, please call Isobel or Shelley in our Stewartry office on 01556 288427 or email email@example.com
We were delighted to receive recently a cheque donation for £300 from Lower Nithsdale Young Farmers Club (LNYFC). Pictured is Scott McGill (Project Manager - left) with Emma Harper (Secretary LNYFC) and Ben McClymont (Chair LNYFC) and Paddy Finlay (service user - right) receiving the cheque. We would liike to thank everyone at LNYFC for chosing to support Food Train in the past year.
Our Project Manager Scott McGill met three excellent S2 pupils at Dumfries High School in late February to discuss the services that Food Train provide across the region and beyond. The three pupils, Logan, Scott and Craig, are hoping to win £3000 for Food Train in a school competition. They asked some great questions about Food Train and now understand the challenges faced by older people a little bit more.
Good luck boys!
The 8th Dumfriesshire Cubs heard all about the Food Train and the challenges faced by older people when Scott accepted an invitation from the Balloo to attend and help the cubs achieve a World Challenge Activity Badge. One cub said at the end of the night 'I really must do more now for my elderly neighbour.' The cubs heard about our shopping deliveries, our EXTRA service, befriending and our new Meal Makers service and how many people now live to the age of 100 (centenarians) compared to 100 years ago. Intergenerational work will follow later in the year.
Our latest volunteer befriender recruits from the Dumfries area attended our befriender training workshop in our Head Office in Dumfries recently (with two long serving volunteers attending for refresher training purposes). They all look forward to getting involved and helping us meet our service aim of reducing loneliness and social isolation locally.
Local Friends member Margaret was at West Sound radio recently talking about the benefits of being a member of Food Train Friends and about the positive impact that this has had on her life as a widow who lives alone away from her home town with no family members living locally.This is expected to be on air in March 2018 as West Sound plan to do a promotional piece on the issues surrounding loneliness and social isolation on young people, older people and the farming community too. Well done Margaret, you were brilliant!
Our befriending service for local older people, known as Food Train Friends, has achieved the 'Quality in Befriending' (QiB) accreditation award in January 2018, independently assessed by Befriending Networks. This award confirms our Friends service is delivered and managed to national QiB standards in the UK. We are delighted to receive this recognition from Sarah Van Pullen, CEO at Befriending Networks.
We held a very successful training workshop in Stranraer this month for our newest Volunteer Befriender recruits who are all keen to help us to address and reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people in the Stranraer and Rhins area. If you would like more information, please contact our Stranraer based Development Officer, Alan McLachlan, on 01776 704831 (works Monday - Thursdays) and he will be pleased to assist. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our New Year party in full swing at St Georges on 10 January 2018 with our friends from Summerhill Community Centre. Big thanks to Bill and Neil from 'The Virginians' who provided the musical entertainment and well done to David and Paddy for winning the quiz. Age is no barrier to fun at Food Train Friends and dancing improves our balance - click on attached ageing-better link below for more info
Our CEO presented four of our first ever Volunteer Befriender recruits in Dumfries (way back in 2012) with their 5 year 'Silver' Long Service Awards at our Christmas Friends event this week. Pictured (left to right) are Leigh, Richard, Brenda and Colin and our CEO Michelle Carruthers (right) with their certificates and silver badges.
Our Dumfries Friends branch held our annual Christmas Party this week at the fabulous Crichton Golf Club which included a lovely meal, Christmas singing from Brownhall Primary School, 5 Year Long Service Awards for four of our wonderful Volunteer Befrienders, a FREE raffle for hampers AND a visit from Santa too! Magic.
Once again the Rotarians from Dumfries Rotary Club have been busy fundraising to provide a lovely bag of M&S 'goodies' for distribution to local older poeople in Dumfries this Christmas by Food Train.
We are, of course, delighted to be able to assist with this marvelous gesture and act of kindness. 72 bags with 15 items and an average value of £24.54 per bag will be distributed by us before Christmas. Pictured are some local Rotarians and M&S staff loading a Food Train van with help from our long serving volunteer, Sally Gibb.
A number of our Friends customers (members) from across the D&G region attended our 6 monthly Customer Forum on 22 November 2017 in our HO in Dumfries to provided essential feedback and ideas on the service to staff on various subject headings which will assist us in planning the service next year and beyond. A BIG thank you to all who attended and contributed. The next meeting in May 2018 will be held in Newton Stewart. #customerengagement