Could you be a Leuchie at Home befriender?

Leuchie at Home is a new service that we are delivering in the community, to offer respite to unpaid carers. We're looking for Leuchie at Home volunteer befrienders and sitters. Full training is provided.

Find out more

Sally McGuinnes is the Leuchie at Home coordinator and tells us more about this service and how it all began.

"The Leuchie at Home service was officially launched in 2022 in partnership with East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership who refer people to us for the service. The aim of Leuchie at Home is to enhance the quality of an individual’s life and that of their unpaid carer, by offering them the opportunity to have company on a regular basis from a volunteer befriender. We offer the service to those who are living with a long term neurological condition or stroke. After referral from ELHSCP, I arrange a home visit to meet with the person and their carer to explain the service and what we offer. The befriending/sitter service has supported 8 people so far and will increase as volunteers are recruited in the coming months.

Each person is given at least 2 hours each week and this allows their partner/ carer time to themselves. They use this time in a variety of ways from shopping, meeting a friend for coffee or catching up with gardening.

During a visit myself or a volunteer will sit with the person, talk/reminisce, do quizzes, listen to music, help with a hobby, go out for a stroll (if this is safe to do so) – it's up to the person as to how they would like to use this time. I have one volunteer starting this month and hopefully more will join the service in the coming months.

How it began

I was asked to trial the service in 2021 when the day respite guests were unable to attend the day service due to the covid restrictions. This gave their partners a regular, well needed break each week. I realised then that although it was only 2 hours, those two hours made a huge difference to the carer and also benefited the person I was sitting with. Then in 2022 when our Day Service finished I was offered the position of the Leuchie at Home co-ordinator.

Please email Sally or call 01620 892864 if you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender/sitter for our Leuchie at Home Service.