David - Befriending Lewis

Thu 7 Nov 2019

David, his wife Eve and their son James lived in Yorkshire. When James grew up and married Elaine they moved to the Western Isles of Scotland, the Isle of Lewis. In 2007 David and Eve decided to follow James and his family and so moved to the Western Isles to help him on their farm.

David and Eve settled into life on the Isle of Lewis living happily until sadly Eve became ill and passed away in April 2017. David was inconsolable, “I was in deep despair and wanted to die. If my son had not been there, I would have been over the cliff!” (David’s own words during an interview).

Throughout their married life Eve had been the person who dealt with all financial issues from bill paying to phone contracts. When she died David was really depressed and worried about his future, he was not sure about his financial situation and was worried that he would spiral into debt. Not only had David lost his lifelong companion, he felt that he did not want to be a burden to his son.

David went to the local doctor who supported him/signposted him to agencies that would be able to help. He was referred to Befriending Lewis in July 2017. When he met with the befriending co-ordinator and told his story, the coordinator suggested that David might wish to consider volunteering as a befriender rather than become a befriendee. 

David, now 78, decided to attend the Befriender Training in September 2017 and has never looked back. The human interaction, training and advice has not only reduced his feelings of loneliness but has given him hope for the future. He has loved meeting all the different people connected to Befriending Lewis, some of whom have similar interests and life experiences as himself. David’s mental state has improved significantly as he now feels he has things to look forward to; visiting his befriendee, the group befriending events, making new friends, trips off-island etc. His weekly 2/3 hour home visits with his Befriendee are one of the highlights of his week. The visits leave David with a “feel good factor” from helping someone. Final quote from David, “Sixty  years with my wife is hard to recover from, but making so many new friends and meeting my fantastic Befriendee, has left me with a positive outlook for the future. I would not have thought this would have been possible a short while ago”