Pulling Up a Pew to Mark Volunteer Befriender Week

24th November 2023
Lynn Shields (Volunteer Befriending Facilitator), Roseanne Jackson (volunteer), Lynne Coates (volunteer), Lauren Sterling (volunteer) and Susan Boyd (volunteer)

A recent coffee and connect event formed the backdrop to mark the increasingly popular Befriending service as volunteers pulled up a pew to celebrate the efforts of all involved.

Providing chat and companionship to help reduce loneliness and social isolation to older people within South Eastern Trust areas, Lynn Shields, Volunteer Befriending Facilitator at Dunmurry’s Stewartstown Road Health Centre said: “The Befriending service is extremely worthwhile and rewarding for our service users and our volunteers. We currently have 40 Volunteer Befrienders and I know they enjoy meeting with our service users as much as the service user enjoys meeting up with them. Our recent coffee catch up was a way of saying thank you to them and to celebrate this very important and vital part of the service we provide.”

A Volunteer Befriender with the Caring Communities Safe and Well Service for the past five years, Susan Boyd has been supporting those aged 65 and over. After a change in her personal circumstances Susan explained how, “I was feeling lonely and wanted to help other people. I would encourage others to volunteer and it’s something so small to give and I get as much out of it.”

If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Befriender please contact 02897566934 or email safeandwell@setrust.hscni.net