A scheme member for a Linking Lives befriending scheme run by Oak Grove Community Church in Norwich shares why she got in touch with the befriending service and the huge difference it has made to her …
“In March 2020 all the community get togethers which my friends and I had relied on for social interaction were cancelled due to the restrictions imposed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. After several months I began to feel very intense loneliness. Within weeks of reaching out to the befriending service at Oak Grove Community Church I was offered weekly calls from a kindly member of the church who not only offered me friendship but also support and prayer.
Later in the year one of my cousins died suddenly and my grief combined with my loss of health due to the progression of my chronic and debilitating illness impacted further on my health. During this period the service supported with me with generous and nutritious food boxes, Christmas treats and mindful activities, together with ongoing prayers and calls. Other members of the church also provided warm hand-crocheted blankets and throws which were passed on and helped to keep me warm during winter. The food boxes were very particularly appreciated during periods of recuperation after my hospital admissions.
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. I feel that I have developed a better sense of connection with the church through their YouTube services online and with my friends and family, and better acceptance of the limitations my illness imposes and confidence to participate in new friendships and experiences within my immediate surroundings and beyond.
The service has made such a huge difference for me, as I expect it has for many others.”