The British Benevolent Fund of Madrid (BBF) and Runnymede College, La Moraleja have recently joined forces with an initiative that allows students to earn points towards their Duke of Edinburgh´s Award. Students opting for social work within the Duke of Edinburgh Award are providing help and assistance to elderly people in the Madrid area who need additional support.
According to Mr B. a resident of Madrid, these visits are a great help: “I look forward very much to my visits from young people, as it combines practical assistance for me living alone and provides refreshing conversations with the younger generation”.
Diane Kiddell and Callie Meléndez, who are coordinating the visits on behalf the BBF, say that the high level of interest from some of the older residents has surprised them and that there is an increased number of enquiries from people living alone and wishing to be included.
Manuel Powell, in charge of the project at Runnymede College, said that he was delighted by the response from the BBF in putting the students in touch with known local residents who would benefit from contact with young people and expects the friendship to last well beyond the period of the scheme for some of the students.
Frank Powell, Headmaster and Principal of Runnymede College said that this was a win-win for Madrid residents, the school and its students as well as the widening of social activities that the BBF undertakes within the British community, “I have been a life- long supporter of the BBF and I am delighted that this programme has been so well received by students and the BBF alike”.
“It is extremely rewarding to see young people engage with the older generation and get enjoyment from it” said Stewart Cusden, Chairman of the BBF.