#BefriendingIs Volunteering during COVID-19 with Together Co

Thu 29 Oct 2020

As lockdown measures came into effect back in March, many people experienced loneliness and social isolation in ways they never had before. Befriending organisations and volunteers rapidly responded to this growing need for connection. B joined Together Co during the Covid-19 crisis as a volunteer phone befriender. She also delivered food shopping and urgent supplies to our members across Brighton & Hove on her bike. Here's B's reflections on her experience:

 “Speaking to friends over the phone is almost a therapy in itself, a form of letting things out, but sometimes speaking to someone impartial like a stranger goes even further, and can be even easier.

I’ve been paired with one lady, we’ve spoken on the phone a few times – I call her around once a week. We chat and share different things… The first time I spoke to her, she was talking about her situation and a lot of the difficulties she’s having at the moment, and how things – because of the situation – are making her mental health a lot worse. We ended up talking for a long time. Without really noticing, an hour had passed. 

She’s got such a great personality, and is very up front, which is really funny. She’s very easy to have a conversation with – I always enjoy it.”

Thanks to B for sharing your experiences and thank you to all befriending voluntees; those who were inspired to join this year, those who have made volunteering a regular part of their lives, and those waiting to return to volunteering roles. An important part of Befriending Week 1-7 November is thanking volunteers for their dedication, efforts and enthusiasm. It is because of you that #BefriendingIs making a difference by decreasing loneliness and isolation by increasing connection and wellbeing, one visit, phone call, video chat, zoom call at a time - so thank you!

If you're thinking about volunteering and live in Brighton & Hove learn more about Together Co: https://togetherco.org.uk/. There are befriending projects large and small throughout the UK who would be delighted to welcome new volunteers. Search the Befriending Networks directory to find a befriending organisation local to you: https://www.befriending.co.uk/directory/

Lastly, keep visiting the Befriending Networks News webpage 1-7 November when we will be sharing daily stories of what #BefriendingIs.