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Volunteers' Week Day 12: Volunteer Now Befriending Scheme

12 June 2016

Volunteer Now provides volunteer befriending and driving schemes for the most vulnerable and isolated older persons in the community.  Having a volunteer befriender can help to reduce feelings of loneliness and low mood, and give an older person the confidence to lead a more fulfilling life.  Special bonds are formed between volunteer and befriendee.

Here’s Niamh and Anne’s story about their befriending relationship:

Niamh (22) from Belfast says:

“I wanted to get involved in befriending after watching a news piece on Befriending Week. Friendship is so important in life and older people should not be denied that. No one should have to go a week without speaking to someone.

Befrienders will often be paired with someone with similar interests. I am interested in anything and everything German and I am currently taking a German language class. I never thought I would be paired with a German woman in a million years. Anne teaches me German sometimes and tells me stories about her life in Germany. I was so lucky to be paired with Anne. She is a wonderful story teller and has such a great sense of humour. I look forward to visiting her as I know that we're going to have a great laugh together, as we do every week! It is very rare these days that you can sit down and have an hour's conversation with someone without any interruptions. I get just as much out of my friendship with Anne as she does.”

Anne (85) is originally from Germany has lived in Belfast since 1952:

“I used to look at the clock on a Sunday and think, oh, it's going to be a long day, but now I know that Niamh is coming to visit every week at 1pm, and I really look forward to Sundays. I am glad to hear all about what she has been up to during the week and she tells me about her past and future travels and I love to hear these stories. We always have a great time together!  Niamh has a great interest in Germany and we have swapped books on German history and I have lent Niamh books about the town that I grew up in.”

If you would be interested in volunteering as a befriender or driver, please contact Victoria on 028 9023 2020 or email Victoria.O’Neill@volunteernow.co.uk

Find a volunteer opportunity in your local area!  Use the ‘volunteer search’ panel on our homepage and use the drop down box to select the activity you would be interested in. 

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