Mental health charity launches volunteer appeal

Mental Health Aberdeen (MHA) has launched an appeal to attract new faces to its pool of befrienders in the Banff, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Turriff areas.

Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships to people who would otherwise be socially isolated.

A dedicated network of volunteers has served the north-east through MHA for a number of years but the charity is aiming to expand the service.

Flora Todd, manager of the MHA Companions befriending scheme, said: “When physical illness strikes, friends and family usually rally round. However, people experiencing mental ill health may not be so fortunate - their family may find it difficult to understand and cope with the feelings associated with their illness.

“Through our befriending scheme we provide vital support, encouraging positive outcomes and aiming to counter the isolation which only compounds many of the issues faced by those who benefit from the service.

“For those who volunteer it is a challenging but rewarding role and we are keen to hear from anyone who feels they have a contribution to make.

“Our volunteers help by providing a listening ear, companionship and support to use community facilities and attend local activities. The focus is on improving the lives of those who seek our support.”

No experience is necessary, with training provided. Out of pocket expenses are reimbursed and a time commitment of one or two hours per week is required.

Further information, call Flora Todd on 01779 470122, Jean Pryde on 01261 818330 or at