#Befriendingis Giving and Gaining with Arran CVS

Sun 8 Nov 2020

Befriending takes place in all parts of the UK, in towns and cities, in rural locations, and in the islands. A befriender and a befriendee from a match that is supported by Arran CVS Befriending Project share their experiences.   

The befriender reports

"I noticed an article in the local newspaper about volunteering and I was drawn to the idea of companionship. I was involved with the community lunch club and becoming a befriender was a natural extension of this. It seemed the ideal opportunity to give something back to a community that had been so welcoming to me.

When my father was widowed I was unable to give him the time I would have liked because of my work commitments. When I moved to Arran I was retired and had more time available. It’s a fact of life that we may all find ourselves in a position of having limited support by way of friends and family around us, particularly later in life.

Prior to Covid I was able to pick-up my friend and take her out for coffee and to the shops for groceries. It was a joy to see her regain a bit of independence and have the opportunity for her to chat to people she knew while we were out. This gave her a chance to be sociable and catch up with people she may not have seen otherwise. I also renewed her library membership and she enjoyed selecting books. She once said “I had a really good day, I actually feel normal again”.

I’m still in regular contact over the phone and have an arrangement in place where takeaway food is brought to her within all the guidelines. I cannot emphasise enough that I believe I gain much more from our friendship than I give."

And from the befriendee’s point of view:

"I so enjoy our time together and I often say I don’t know where I would be without her. We can’t go out now but I used to enjoy getting to the shops. Sometimes you just want to do all the normal daily tasks and I really did enjoy getting my own groceries. She has arranged for me to get takeaways on a Thursday. I love this, it’s such a treat and it gives me something to look forward to each week. Before all this we used to go out for coffee and I miss doing this.

I love to send Christmas cards but I was struggling to do this last year. I have shoulder pain and writing out all the addresses was difficult. She helped me with this. I signed my cards and she added all the addresses for me from my address book.

I enjoy our chats on the phone, it’s a comfort to know she will call each week. Her companionship has made a huge difference to my life and I appreciate all she does. I call her my angel."