There's cause to Celebrate during Loneliness Awareness Week

Thu 18 Jun 2020

As befriending connects people, it seems fitting that Beverley Swan celebrated her 1 year anniversary as a Befriending Coordinator with Age UK North Tyneside during Loneliness Awareness Week. The first year of any job brings a big learning curve, but Beverley has shown an extraordinary effort and enthusiasm in her participation in Befriending Networks Vital Skills Courses and her committment to befriending has only grown through the challenges COVID-19 has brought. Here's why Beverley is celebrating:

"Tomorrow is my first anniversary as Befriending Coordinator with Age UK North Tyneside and who could ever have predicted my first year!

Before lockdown, our Befrienders made weekly home visits to an isolated older person. Someone unable to access their community: just like many of our older family members and friends.

COVID-19 changed everything and our home visit service was temporarily suspended. Today, I’m proud to say that we are supporting more people than ever before and we’re doing it by telephone. There are more than 150 people in our Telephone Befriending Service.

It is likely that we have all been affected by loneliness this year, personally or by supporting someone close to us. The good news is we have Befrienders ready to offer you or someone you care about a reliable, trusting telephone relationship.

I don’t want anyone in North Tyneside to miss out because they feel uncomfortable asking for help. We are a great new service, reaching out to a new audience, there’s a first time for everything and our service is free.

Ada said “Joan’s like the daughter I never had.” Roz said “I’ve just had my first phone call and it was wonderful.” Bill said “We are really good friends now, we chat about anything.”

This isn’t about smartphones or social media networks. Our Befrienders are there for you, ringing twice a week for a friendly chat. Be brave and ring 0191 2808484 for help, so we can do more to make a difference. From a lady who loves her job x"

Written by Beverley Swan 16 June 2020

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