Support for Older Residents

Support for Older Residents

The Cameron Project is FACT’s special project for older people in the Forres Area. It is open to anyone over 50.  This project offers a befriending service, events and activities to help reduce social isolation for those over 50 in the Forres area.

The Cameron Project is named after local postman William Cameron who left the bulk of his wealth to residents of a local old people’s home where he spent his final years.  Mr Cameron is believed to have inherited much of his fortune from either a brother or an aunt. He had worked with the Post Office from 1912 until he retired in 1958, apart from serving with the Gordon Highlands in World War One, during which he was wounded twice.  He died at Leanchoil Hospital in Forres in 1982. But when the home he’d bequeathed his estate to closed down the bequest had to be revised. Charitable status for what had become known as the Auchernack Trust was made and allowed it to be used for the benefit of the elderly community in the Forres area. FACT is delighted to receive support from the Auchernack Trust for its older persons project. 

If you would like more information about the Cameron Project, to use the service or to volunteer, feel contact Kirsty on 01309 674 388 or kirsty@forresarea.org

Befriending

Our Cameron’s Champions offer a Befriending Service for people over 50 in the Forres area.  If you feel lonely, isolated or find it difficult to get out and about then our volunteers can help you meet new people, try new activities or reconnect with your community. 

Kirsty Williams, who is the Older Person’s project coordinator for FACT, said: “This local befriending service is the first of its kind across Moray and aims to support older people living in the Forres area who would like to stay connected to their community. It is hoped that the Cameron Project will help Older People to access some of the many groups in the local area and provide companionship to those who feel isolated. Research shows that social isolation can be as harmful as smoking, so it is important to support our older residents to stay connected to their community.”

“Cameron Champions”

A ‘Cameron Champion’ is a special person. They are kind, caring and dedicated people who love to work with others. They are active listeners and can provide conversation and companionship to our over 50s. They are also good at spotting worrying signs and alerting us to an older person needing extra help. They are part of our volunteer workforce and help us to deliver the befriending service. 

Volunteering for such a role can be for as few or as many hours as you wish to give. You might be an active older person yourself and enjoy connecting with and supporting others. Or you might be a young person wanting to develop a career in the health and care sector.  Befriending and supporting older people is such a rewarding role, and you can never underestimate the joy and insight that working with an older person can bring to your life. It can increase your confidence, develop your own skills and experience. Also, if you are of working age, it can give you valuable transferable skills and an up to date reference for employment.

Our Champions Team was boosted by more than 40 new recruits at the start of the coronavirus pandemic when it became apparent that many more old folk in lockdown would require support. Volunteers have been helping with shopping, deliveries, prescription collections and friendly telephone calls. Our champions are a key part of our Covid response team. 

Forres Community Council member Lesley Edwards is a Cameron’s Champion.She says, “I befriend an elderly couple and phone them once-a-week to see how they are getting on. They are very appreciative and a pleasure to work with. It gives me a lot of personal satisfaction.”

We’re grateful for the collaboration with Tesco (Forres) and Forres Osprey Bus for helping our champions to support our older residents. 

Activities

The Cameron Project also runs monthly activities including people’s stories sessions, arts and crafts workshops and supported shopping trips. Special reminiscence events are also held from time to time, for example our afternoon tea of music, storytelling and remembrance for older residents. Activities are open to anyone over 50 and frequently feature a good cuppa and a biccie. Check out our What’s On page for current events. 

Joining in our activities often gives older people the chance to contribute to other activities going on in the community. For example FACT hosted “The Big Lunch” in June 2018 and 2019.  The Big Lunch, organised by the Eden Project, is the UK’s largest annual community get-together. The idea is that, for a few hours, folk come together to meet, greet, play games, sing, and laugh. Through the Cameron Project, our older residents made bunting to decorate The Big Lunch marquee and helped with activities during the event. They were part of the100 people in Forres and the 9.3 million people who took to their streets, gardens and neighbourhoods across the UK to join in.

Gentle Seated Exercise

Exercise benefits everyone, even elderly adults with limited mobility. In fact, if age or disabilities have limited mobility, it’s even more essential to enjoy the mind and health-boosting effects of staying active. 

Regular exercise can improve self-esteem, relieve stress, and reduce depression. Although mobility issues bring with them many challenges, it’s possible to overcome those limitations by using seated chair exercises that work different muscle groups in the body. 

So if you fancy some seated tummy twists, overhead stretches, hand and thigh squeezes or kneed lifts, come and join our excellent chair exercises.

When can you join us? Every Tuesday (apart from the first Tuesday of the month) from 10:30 am – 12.00 noon at Forres Town Hall.  Obligatory post exercise cuppa is provided when we;ve burned off a few calories.

During Lockdown we have transferred this class to online via zoom on a Wednesday morning from 11am – 1230pm.  There’s a quiz and a chance for a news afterwards.

Transport

The Cameron Project works closely with our great friends at The Forres Osprey Trust Bus to provide transport to our activities and events.  If you would like to come to one of our events but are worried about how to get there, give Kirsty a ring on 01309 674388 to find out about the bus service.

Forres Older Persons Directory

This information directory is specifically aimed at older people and sets out information, help and social groups in the area to help them. You can pick up a copy of the directory from:

  • The FACT Office at Forres Town Hall
  • Forres Library and Community Centre
  • Health Centre and GP practices 

Copies are available in audio format and in large print, on request from the FACT office.

You can also download a digital copy of the information directory.

If you are a social or support group for older people, or offer them a community service, and would like to be featured in the next edition, please email details to Kirsty on 01309 674 388 or kirsty@forresarea.org