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Dumfries & Galloway News

The latest news from the Dumfries & Galloway branch of Food Train.

Befriender Training Workshop in Stranraer

We held a very successful training workshop in Stranraer this month for our newest Volunteer Befriender recruits who are all keen to help us to address and reduce loneliness and social isolation in older people in the Stranraer and Rhins area. If you would like more information, please contact our Stranraer based Development Officer, Alan McLachlan, on 01776 704831 (works Monday - Thursdays) and he will be pleased to assist. You can also email    

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Dumfries Friends New Year Party

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Our New Year party in full swing at St Georges on 10 January 2018 with our friends from Summerhill Community Centre. Big thanks to Bill and Neil from 'The Virginians' who provided the musical entertainment and well done to David and Paddy for winning the quiz. Age is no barrier to fun at Food Train Friends and dancing improves our balance - click on attached ageing-better link below for more info 

Long Service Awards for our Dumfries area befrienders

Our CEO presented four of our first ever Volunteer Befriender recruits in Dumfries (way back in 2012) with their 5 year 'Silver' Long Service Awards at our Christmas Friends event this week. Pictured (left to right) are Leigh, Richard, Brenda and Colin and our CEO Michelle Carruthers (right) with their certificates and silver badges.

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Friends-Xmas Party-2017

Our Dumfries Friends branch held our annual Christmas Party this week at the fabulous Crichton Golf Club which included a lovely meal, Christmas singing from Brownhall Primary School, 5 Year Long Service Awards for four of our wonderful Volunteer Befrienders, a FREE raffle for hampers AND a visit from Santa too! Magic.   

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Dumfries Rotary Christmas Partnership 2017

Once again the Rotarians from Dumfries Rotary Club have been busy fundraising to provide a lovely bag of M&S 'goodies' for distribution to local older poeople in Dumfries this Christmas by Food Train.

We are, of course, delighted to be able to assist with this marvelous gesture and act of kindness. 72 bags with 15 items and an average value of £24.54 per bag will be distributed by us before Christmas. Pictured are some local Rotarians and M&S staff loading a Food Train van with help from our long serving volunteer, Sally Gibb. 

Friends Customer Forum

A number of our Friends customers (members) from across the D&G region attended our 6 monthly Customer Forum on 22 November 2017 in our HO in Dumfries to provided essential feedback and ideas on the service to staff on various subject headings which will assist us in planning the service next year and beyond. A BIG thank you to all who attended and contributed. The next meeting in May 2018 will be held in Newton Stewart. #customerengagement  

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Volunteer Training Workshop in the Stewartry

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We trained another seven new volunteer befrienders in the Stewartry in November 2017 at Castle Douglas Community Fire Station's training room. Pictured with local Development Officers Shelley and Isobel are our latest recruits. If you wish to join us and think you can help reduce loneliness and isolation with local older people, then please give us a call on 01556 288427 or email  

Befriending Networks Annual Conference 2017

Friends Staff attended this years Befriending Networks Annual Conference and AGM 2017 in Edinburgh on 3 November and are pictured with the new CEO at BN, Sarah Van Pullen during a break in procedings. 

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Lower Nithsdale Young Farmers Club choose Food Train

Friends Project Manager Scott McGill recently met with Lower Nithsdale Young Farmers Club to brief them on the great work and many services available from Food Train for local older people at a recent Beetle Drive fund raiser in Holywood Village Hall near Dumfries. Scott is picture with Ben and Lizzie from the Lower Nithsdale YFC who have chosen Food Train as their Charity Partner of the Year for 2017-18.  

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National Kitchens 1917 event

Food Train Friends from across D&G enjoyed a fabulous trip to the Devil's Porridge Museum in Eastriggs recently to hear all about the 'National Kitchens 1917' project from Dr Bryce Evans from Liverpool Hope University. Those present enjoyed a 1917 style meal of the day whilst sitting together (which is what the government project was all about  at that time - social and healthy eating during wartime Britain). A jazz band played music from the period and a great day was had by all 50 people in attendance. A big thank you to the staff and volunteers from the museum who worked hard to feed us and look after us all. #nationalkitchens1917  

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Indoor Bowling Fun with Friends

A few of our Dumfries members enjoyed a fun game of indoor bowling recently at St George's Hall. Winners were Chattie and Ruby once the scores were added up!   

Befriender Training Workshop

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Training is really important in life so we regularly host training workshops for new and old volunteer befrienders in our Friends service.

Pictured here are some volunteers who attended a recent workshop in Dumfries.  

Mobility Scooter For Sale

Mobility Scooter for sale following a donation by a grateful customer who no longer requires it. It is a Roma Murcia R300, (colour red) circa 1-2 years old only, good condition with 2 keys provided. Currently located in Dumfries.

Buyer collects. Offers in region of £1000 are invited - call Scott on 01387 279111. All sale proceeds to Food Train Friends.  Scooter comes with a cover for external storage. It folds up and can go into a car according to current owner. 

Shopping in the rain in Ayr with Friends

Here are a couple of our newest Upper Nithsdale based members (left pic) enjoying shopping in the rain in Ayr in a typical Scottish Summer in late June...but they loved having the opportunity to go out with others and to shop safely with transport provided. Also on the trip were Jean and Agnes (right pic) from Sanquhar pictured with our volunteer Catherine coming out of a shop smiling, despite the rain! Call us for more info on 01387 279111

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Dumfries Branch - Sponsored 'Digital' Walkers

Sponsored Digital Walkers from our Dumfries branch (staff and volunteers) pictured at the halfway point at the Kingholm Quay on 30 June 2017 keeping fit,healthy and active. If you want to join our team please call us on 01387 270800 to discuss roles available. 

Friendly Dumfries filming with Carnegie Trust UK

We had fun filming this week with our partners from Carnegie Trust UK following the 'Friendly Dumfries' test of theory that there is kindness in our Dumfries community prior to their final report being published soon. Thanks to all who attended and spoke on camera - there were a few nervous people in the room, but they were all stars!  

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Stranraer Food Train Friends Outing

Our Stranraer 'Friends' members enjoyed a super trip to Logan Botanic Gardens this month and enjoyed a lovely lunch in The Potting Shed cafe. We then had a short trip to the village of Port Logan, scene of BBC TV's '2000 Acres of Sky' just a few years ago. A great day was had by all with a sing-a-long on the bus...and the weather was just right too!     


Charity Choir donate to Food Train


Graham Anderson (right) presented a cheque for £1000 to Scott for Food Train Friends recently following the Dumfries Charity Choir events in 2016 when they met at another local charity event.

Guid Nychburris 2017

Dumfries members of Food Train Friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon out in the sunshine at the Guid Nychburris Parade 2017 and were delighted to win 2nd prize in the advertising category too! Thanks as always to Gobert for driving and to our volunteers for helping out on the day and for making the bunting (Aliceann) in Food Train colours.