1-7 November is Befriending Week, which is a time to raise awareness of and celebrate everything befriending!
2021 has been a difficult year for many in terms of loneliness, which has made the support offered by befriending projects even more important. At Linking Lives UK, we have loved seeing all the genuine friendships created and blossoming between befrienders and scheme members in the midst of this isolating time, which have provided hope, joy and a much-needed something to look forward to each week for both parties.
In celebration of the week, we have gathered some of our favourite quotes from befrienders, coordinators and scheme members which show the difference befriending makes …
“Someone to ring me regularly for a chat was a real luxury and gift. I used to get my calls at 9am each time, which meant I had a reason to get out of bed that day. I got on really well with my befriender and her calls meant the world to me.”
“We can help to show people in this situation they are still cared about, they are still the same person they have always been, and they still have so much value. There’s so much richness to be had in understanding the perspective of someone who has lived a different life and is in a different stage of it now, and I feel so grateful and privileged to be able to experience this through befriending.”
“There are all sorts of benefits to my friendship with Jeremy and it has definitely improved my life. It’s good to get out and about and also to have someone outside of the family I can talk to if I’m feeling miserable. He provides a listening ear so I can express what I’m feeling if I need to, knowing I’m not worrying him like I might be worrying one of my daughters. If I didn’t have the hope someone might drop by the days would also seem very long, so I look forward to my visits from Jeremy very, very much.”
“Amy doesn’t sleep well so will often have had a rough night’s sleep, and her quality of life isn’t particularly good at the moment, but she always sounds slightly brighter and more positive at the end of our phone calls. To have someone who is phoning and doing it reliably is something she can look forward to, and I think it takes her away from her own situation and any challenges she is facing for that hour each week.”
“It’s been fantastic! We get on very well. I know it’s only meant to be 30-45mins, but we never stop talking so sometimes its longer. My volunteer calls me at the same time, she is never late. She has put me in touch with a community group of single people like myself and now we do activities together, which is lovely!”
“The highlight for my volunteers and I is every time we see our scheme members’ eyes light up when they answer the door, or we see the pure delight and enjoyment at our events.”
“As I sit and reflect on the last twelve months, I realise the most important part of my journey has been the healing that has resulted from the ongoing relationship with my befriender and the prayers she has offered up for me.”