What is Befriending?
Befriending is one to one support, for people who have or are recovering from a mental illness. The support is provided by trained, caring volunteers from within the Doncaster community. Please see the Befriending Scheme leaflet below.
What is the Aim of Befriending?
Our Volunteer Befrienders aim to reduce the social isolation of people who are experiencing mental ill health by supporting them to access activities and meet other people. Having a ‘friend’ to meet for a coffee and chat or going along to well-being activities where you can meet other people can boost confidence and be beneficial in aiding recovery. Fun and laughter also play an important part.
How often does a client see their Befriender and for how long?
“I never used to be able to go out alone, but with the help and support of my Befriender, I’m now able to catch the bus by myself and do my own shopping.”
We ask for a minimum committment of two hours a week from the volunteers and the befriending “friendship” can last up to one year depending upon the availability of the volunteer.
How long does it take before a Befriender is allocated?
We put a great deal of time and effort into finding the right volunteer for the client and this can often take several months. Getting a Befriender is not a quick process but once Befrienders are in place we have found that clients benefit greatly.
“….I meet my Befriender once a week and feel that a little ‘normality’ has come back into my life. It is relaxed and non-judgemental and has helped me to be more positive about the future”.
Why use Volunteers?
Often people with mental health problems detach themselves from their family & friends, and though statutory help can prove invaluable, one of the main reasons befriending works so well is that the volunteer is not paid to be there, they actually want to be with their client.
Interested in becoming a Volunteer?
Do you have a couple of hours spare and like meeting new people? Are you studying and require work based experience? Do you have lived experience of mental ill health? Your experience is valued and vounteering as a Befriender may be part of your journey to return to work. See our information pack for more details or our volunteering page on this website.
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