Lady called Doris who is 94 years old living in Bury St Edmunds. She’s been visited by a Befriender for over 2 years. I interviewed her in March 2016.
Why did you access our service? – My legs were getting worse and my mobility was poor, didn’t look forward to winter. I was depressed, didn’t see anyone from one day to the next.
What impact on your life has the befriending service made? – It has given me something to look forward to, my Befriender has a similar personality, we were both lonely children. I’m always interested in my Befrienders life, how she progresses and I thank her for sharing it with me. If I’m feeling unwell, Lauren will phone me the next day to see if I’m OK, it makes all the difference to know someone cares.
The service Is ‘THE BEST THING GOING’ and ‘I JUST WISHED IT HAD HAPPENED SOONER’
Joyce who is 93 yrs old, living in Bury St Edmunds. She’s been visited for over 2 years.
Why did you access our service? – I lost my husband, I felt lonely now that I’m living on my own.
What impact on your life has the befriending service made? – It is wonderful, I love Linda’s company and look forward to her visits each week. Linda understands, I can talk to her freely, we have a lot in common, we are both country girls and love the countryside.
One highlight for me was when Linda took me out for a drive in her car, I hadn’t been out much in 5 years since husband passed away, it was wonderful.
VOLUNTEER – Sam (49) lives in Newmarket. She wrote this about being a Befriender…….
My life has been enriched on so many levels by being a Befriender. It really brings it home to you, how much an hour or two each week makes a huge difference to an older person, when they tell you how much they love to see you, and thank you for coming, and how lovely it is of you to give your time up for them.
If you are unsure if you will be ‘any good’ as a Befriender, then please just have a go, you may well be surprised at how well you do. You don’t have to do chores, buy anything, or help with the housework, just visit with an open caring heart, a few conversation ideas and your listening ear.
The coordinator does a fabulous job of teaming you up, she got it right for us, and because of this we have built a lovely friendship based on trust and respect. I really look forward to my sessions away from the hustle and bustle of my own life, and look forward to seeing life through another person’s eyes.
‘BEFRIENDING IS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE FOR BOTH OF YOU’
VOLUNTEER – Carmen lives in Newmarket. She wrote this about being a Befriender…..
I volunteered as a Befriender because I wanted to do something for somebody else and share my time in a useful way. It’s such an enjoyable role, being able to chat and listening is also important. Older people are always very interesting to listen to and have great stories to tell. The experience has benefited me greatly, seeing the person you are visiting genuinely smiling and laughing makes me feel I am fulfilling a worthwhile role.
We carried out a client survey last year and below are a few comments taken from the responses:
- ‘She makes my day, she makes me laugh and we have a good talk’
- ‘Makes me feel special, has made my life better’
- ‘My Befriender is lovely, easy to talk to and very helpful’
- ‘I feel less alone and more cheerful.’
- ‘Helps to relieve my worries.’
- ‘It makes me feel I am not alone in the world.’
- ‘I feel part of the community’