Volunteer – Dean
I am a Volunteer Befriender
What does befriending involve?
I initially signed up for the Befriending scheme in November 2019 as part of Turning Tides’ ‘Festive Friends’ initiative. They were excellent at matching me with a client that had similar hobbies and interests to me – football and music. Since 2019, me and the client regularly text and speak on the phone, and we finally had the opportunity to meet in-person in late 2021.
What inspired you to volunteer with us?
I’ve always had a desire to support individuals who are homeless, as I feel there is a huge injustice in society when someone is deprived of receiving the fundamentals in life, like food and shelter. I read about Turning Tides and all of the great work they do to support people experiencing homelessness, and then saw their ‘Festive Friends’ volunteering opportunity.
What have you gained from becoming a befriender?
First and foremost I’ve gained a friend. Myself and the client have regular contact and the relationship is two way. I’m pleased to know I’m helping someone who is lonely, but I also benefit myself personally from this newly formed relationship.
What would you say to someone thinking about volunteering with us?
Just do it! It’s a great opportunity to help a fantastic charity and the opportunity to make a new friend.
3 words to sum up your volunteering experience.
Rewarding – Supporting – Fun!