Case Study: Apasen

Sat 4 Nov 2023

Befriending Networks member Apasen delivers social and community services in the United Kingdom.

The organisation set up a new befriending service to support the local residents in Tower Hamlets. The aim of the programme is to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable older residents and carers, to encourage independent living, combat social isolation, and build more connection to the local community.

Bereaved and lonely

One resident recently found herself benefitting from the Apasen befriending service. Her beloved husband has passed, and the 69-year-old found the impact of loneliness extremely difficult.

She began to withdraw, even turning away from her family. Determined to help her mother, her daughter decided they needed help.

After speaking to Apasen, they matched her mother with a befriender, but the weight of the task ahead was evident in their early meetings. The woman was reserved, not engaging in conversation, and showing little signs of interest in anything.

Small steps

Slowly the befriender’s patience managed to tease out small glimpses of the things the befriendee liked. Despite her self-enforced isolation, her love for walks and the chance to connect with others were still there, just hidden away.

With each weekly visit, small progress was made. At first, it was just a whisper – a tentative step outside. A brief chat with her befriender. But soon the befriendee began to show signs of wanting to step back into the world more fully.

After eight heartwarming weeks, the once hesitant woman now looked forward to trips to the local park. She took part in community events, making new friendships along the way. She found joy in the simple act of picking up the phone and sharing stories of her week.

Befriending changes lives

The transformation has been profound. Every Monday she awaits her befriender’s call eagerly. It’s a chance to share what she has been up to, and a continued reminder of how far she has come on her journey.

'Having someone to trust, someone who listens, has changed everything', she says with gratitude.

Apasen’s befriending service has had a significant impact on this resident’s life, encouraging her to step back into the world, swapping isolation for rejuvenation.

Visit the Apasen page on the Befriending Networks Directory for more information on the organisation and befriending service.