As part of Volunteers’ Week, we do many things to thank the fantastic contribution volunteers make to our communities. Below are a few words from one of our amazing Volunteer Befrienders – Bethany.
The reasons I love befriending?
Volunteering with Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project comes with so many benefits; not just for the young people we support but for volunteers too!
Volunteering has allowed me to make fantastic, life-long friends. I feel so included in something so amazing. It has also allowed me to try new things- zip lining and mud sliding to name a few!
But by far, the best thing about befriending is making a difference to a young person’s life.
Reflecting back to my first match, I suppose in the beginning both myself and the young person were a bit anxious. It was all new and exciting! I spent an hour or so each week with her, going on outings and trying new things. We soon got to know each other so well that she felt she could talk to me. I was able to support her by building her self-esteem and confidence and helping to develop her social skills. We met 1-1 as well as with other befrienders and young people. I saw her grow from a quiet, withdrawn young person into such an outgoing, confident young girl.
To be a part of something like this – wow, that is the best feeling! It’s why I have continued to volunteer. I have went on to have four more matches since then. In the process, I have learnt so much about myself. I see befriending as my hobby and something I love doing. I would recommend anyone considering a volunteering role to choose befriending. It’s enhanced my life! I love it so much.