Befriending Week has two aims: to raise awareness of the issue of loneliness in our society, and to promote the great work of befriending services.
‘We tried indoor climbing, trampolining, water park flumes, sledging, we saw birds of prey, tried golf, and rode roller coasters!’ This isn’t an account of someone’s action-packed activity holiday- these are the words of Leila, a volunteer befriender in North Lanarkshire who is describing some of the things she gets up to with the young person she befriends every week. Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone. For people who have become isolated because of ill health, disability or social disadvantage, being matched with a befriender often fills a big gap.
Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Around the Scotland there are befriending projects which organise effective support for children and young people, families, people with mental ill-health, people with learning disabilities and older people, amongst many others.
Befriending can really make a difference to people’s lives and you don’t have to take our word for it, this is what some people had to say about their befriender’s visits –
“Just to say how much my mum is enjoying the volunteer visits. Thanks again for a great service”.
“I have to say, I’ve enjoyed having you here….I haven’t laughed this much in ages!”
Several organisations offer befriending services in East Lothian and are looking for volunteers to become befrienders. Why not give it a go? It might turn into the most fun two hours you spend every week! Here’s a few to get you started 🙂