Make a difference as a Befriender..

Make a difference as a Befriender..

Glasgow’s Golden Generation’s team of befrienders make a huge impact on the people they support. Things have been particularly challenging over the past few months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but GGG has put services in place to ensure older adults still get the support they need. Below is a case study about Mrs Anderson who benefits from the Befriending Service. Read more to find out the difference you could make to someone’s life by volunteering as a befriender:

Mrs Anderson lives alone and had recently been diagnosed with dementia. Although Mrs Anderson had been living happily alone and was able to get out locally to pick up shopping, she was feeling lonely so was referred to GGG’s befriending service.

Over the past few months, Mrs Anderson has had a weekly visit from a befriender who would chat with her about books, family life and the interesting things she had done over the years. Both the befriending volunteer and Mrs Anderson really enjoyed the time they spent together.

Unfortunately, all home visits had to be suspended in March because of the global pandemic; it was no longer safe for the befriender or Mrs Anderson to continue the visits. This was really difficult for Mrs Anderson as she really looked forward to her befriender’s visit, especially as her befriender was the only person she was seeing each week.

At this point GGG’s Befriending Team stepped in and were able to phone Mrs Anderson regularly to ensure she was coping and had everything she needed. Mrs Anderson was panicking as she wasn’t able to access basic food items such as bread and milk. The Befriending team arranged a weekly food parcel from the charity which meant she didn’t need to go out to the supermarket and queue.

GGG was able to put procedures in place to enable volunteer befrienders to begin calling the people they befriended. When Mrs Anderson’s volunteer was asked if she would like to begin phoning Mrs Anderson she was absolutely delighted to be able to get back in touch.

Mrs Anderson was really happy to hear from her befriender as they had built a great rapport and they’re now back in regular contact. It gives Mrs Anderson something to look forward to and just hearing a friendly and familiar voice makes a huge difference to her.

When Mrs Anderson has a problem and needs support, she feels confident in asking her befriender for help. This is due to the relationship and trust they have built over the months they’ve been in contact with each other.

Mrs Anderson said:

“GGG has made a huge impact on my life. All of the staff and volunteers deserve a medal for what they do. My lockdown days are bearable now that I have a friendly, familiar befriender keeping in touch and access to the basics I need. It is GGG that has made this possible.”

For more information on the befriending service visit: www.glasgowgg.org.uk/befriending

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