Food Buddies is a way for people to encourage and support each other around food.  Food Buddies started with the concerns and priorities of a group of people in their community.  Each project builds on the assets of that community – the experience and skills of all the people involved, professional expertise and the resources in the local area.  There is reciprocity, rather than some people receiving a service from others.  The approach focuses on supporting and building relationships.  Food Buddies aims to be sustainable and for the impact to continue beyond a project that gets activities underway in an area.  Food Buddies complements what other food projects and other social inclusion projects do, and works in partnership with them.

 Jan Laing started as the Borders Food Buddies Development Worker in September 2016. Jan previously worked as the Central Borders Area Manager with the Bridge based in Galashiels. Jan will be contacting and meeting with a range of individuals and organisations in the coming weeks and months to explore ways of working together to establish the Borders Food Buddies project so that it best meets the needs of local people.

This project develops peer support for people with dementia and for carers, with a focus on aspects of food and keeping well.
It started in October 2015 with funding over 5 years from Life Changes Trust.

Activities include:

  • Group activities that bring people together such as cooking classes doing food-related things together, and sessions on adapting to people’s changing food needs
  • Encouragement and support for people with dementia and carers on ways to look after yourself
  • One-to-one peer support for people who prefer this and to help people follow up on the group activities
  • Long-term support as people’s circumstances change for people who want this

We will make the peer support work for people across the range of situations and stages of dementia and caring.
A second aim is to share the experience of the people involved in the project:

  • Raise awareness about the benefits of peer support among people affected by dementia
  • Reach more people through Tips, recipe books and the like highlighting practical tips on what can help as well as raising awareness
  • Raise awareness among shops, food producers and retailers on what they can do to help.

Jan will be based at the Scottish Borders Chamber of Social Enterprise in St Boswells. Anyone wanting to know more about the Borders Food Buddies project can contact Jan at