Celebrating Volunteers’ Week – Befriender’s thoughts


3rd June 2022

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D&G Befriending Project > News and Events > Events > Celebrating Volunteers’ Week – Befriender’s thoughts

To celebrate Volunteers’ Week, we asked Elaine what her thoughts are on being one of our amazing Volunteer Befrienders.

I became a befriender in 2018 and to date I have been matched with three young people. Over that time, befriending is something that has become a big part of my life.

When people ask me what I like about befriending I always tell them that I think it is a real privilege to be welcomed and trusted into a young person’s life, to be allowed to spend time with them and share in some of their experiences. My hope is always that my contribution in their life will make a positive difference, however large or small that may be.

At the end of my first ever match my young person (a boy aged 10) gifted me with a poem he had written about how much our time together had meant to him. The poem is one of the most beautiful things anyone has ever given me, and remains one of my most prized possessions – a reminder of why befriending is so valuable.  

From a personal perspective I also feel I have gained from the befriending experience. I’ve made new friends, tried new things, and learned more about myself through my interactions with young people and other befrienders.

Each of my three young people have been very different in character, and each have come with their own quirks and challenges. We have, however, always been able to get to know each other, find common interests and with each I have shared experiences that I will remember forever.  Whether that’s ziplining at Barcaple, creating an accidental slime explosion in the office, or simply having meaningful conversations.

The Befriending Project is an amazing and supportive organisation that provides an invaluable service to our young people. I am proud to say I am part of it.

Elaine

The impact a volunteer befriender can have on a young person should never be underestimated.  This poem by ‘John’ was presented to his befriender at the end of their match in September 2019.  Only the names have been changed.

My Befriender

My name is John
And my life’s a struggle
Every day is such a muddle
I have no friends
My life’s a pain
Then I got a befriender
Her name is Lorraine.

We clicked together straight away
Made me smile every day
You came to me when I was low
You made my confidence grow and grow
And turned my frown upside down.

We go together on ghostly tours
Or stay at home and bake s’mores
This makes me smile
Haven’t done that in such a long while

Wallaby Park, such a fun day
Gave me confidence to go down the slide
Yes, ok with you by my side
Our year is up, it’s time to go
To make someone else happy,
this I know

Thank you Lorraine for being my friend
And sticking with me to the end
I’m now in a better place for knowing you,
a kind caring friend
Yes, that’s you.  Lorraine my befriender.

Love John  X


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