LINK East Fife Mental Health Adolescent Befriending Project - Liam: #BefriendingIs worthwhile!

Tue 2 Nov 2021

LINK Adolescent Project was set up in January 2003 to help young people (12 to 18 year olds) improve their resilience, self-esteem, confidence and mental wellbeing, through the support of a consistent and reliable befriender. LINK provides comprehensive induction training as well as ongoing training for our volunteers to equip them with the skills and knowledge required for being a befriender. Our volunteers have an understanding of the challenges many young people face today and can provide a consistent, reliable, non-judgemental 1-to-1 befriending service. Volunteers also offer emotional and practical support as well as social integration which is of particular importance in our rural communities. Through regular face-to-face, 1-to-1 contact the volunteer builds a positive, trusting relationship with the young person, which through time, improves the young person's overall mental health and wellbeing.

 

Liam's experience

Followers of Befriending Week may remember Liam Hayman’s story, published in 2018 and 2020, in which he described the difference that LINK Adolescent Befriending had made to his life, first as a befriendee and, later, as a volunteer befriender. This year, as Liam continues his contribution to befriending, he is now a trustee of LINK East Fife Mental Health Adolescent Befriending Project! As Liam mentioned, 'LINK just can't get rid of me!!!'  :)  

For this year, Let's hear from Liam on his views on befriending during the pandemic and also about his passion on becoming a Trustee,

 

Back in 2020, Liam has kept in touch with LINK Befriending and, when lockdown started and LINK set up the remote befriending, Jane Maciver, the project manager, approached Liam to ask if he would consider remote befriending and Liam answered with a resounding, YES!. Below, listen to Liam and Jane's interview on BBC Radio Scotland about the difference befriending makes and what LINK has done to keep people connected during the pandemic.

 

 

In 2018, when we first hear from Liam about the difference that contact with LINK Adolescent Befriending had made to his life,

During a difficult time in his teenage years Liam had a befriender. "He provided me with an outlet who was not an authority, a family member or required to be there. He was just a guy who had gone through his own experiences. He gave me a chance to get a break from my problems and talk about them freely. Being with him gave me a regular break from the cage that I felt I was trapped in."
After that experience Liam said "My relationship with my befriender and the impact it had on me inspired me to become a befriender myself." He was matched with two befriendees during this period until moving away from Fife when completing his studies. 

 

Liam’s story is inspiring. Thank you to Liam for continuing to volunteer and advocate for positive mental health. We look forward to continuing to follow your story!

 

By LINK East Fife Mental Health Adolescent Befriending Project

If you're inspired and would like to get involved please visit: 

https://www.linkbefriending.org.uk/Index.asp?MainID=32316