Care home scheme founder receives MBE

The founder of a scheme that recruits young people to volunteer in care homes has been honoured with an MBE.

Tony Gearing, who runs YOPEY Befriender, was among those recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours on June 17.

Logan Logeswaran, Managing Director of Runwood Group, the first of several care home companies to use YOPEY Befriender, said: “I have seen for myself the results of the scheme in our care homes, which I believe will educate all the students that participate to have a better understanding of the elderly and the people who care for them, and in turn make these young people better citizens in the future.

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“Tony’s enthusiasm for his work and the effort he puts into making it right for everyone involved is worthy of recognition in the honours list.”

Former national newspaper journalist Tony set up YOPEY Befriender in 2013 after becoming aware of the loneliness of many elderly people.

After taking YOPEY Befriender into care homes he realised he needed to learn about dementia and pass these skills on to the young people who volunteer to become YOPEY Befrienders.

Tony said: “I haven’t achieved this alone. This MBE is for all the young people who are YOPEY Befrienders. They are all helping to bring extra joy into the lives of care home residents and relieve a little of the pressure on care home staff. The young also receive knowledge, wisdom and life lessons that will stand them in good stead for the future.”

Tony is interested in hearing from care homes that would like to make a donation to the YOPEY charity in return for having a YOPEY Befriender scheme.

He is also interested in hearing from companies that provide products or services to care homes who would like to sponsor schemes as a way of promoting their business.

For more information visit yopey.org

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