The role of ‘befriender’ is absolutely crucial in our Hope into Action Homes. I recently chatted with one of the volunteers from one of them. Along with a few others, her role is quite literally to befriend the tenants of the house. She gives us a glimpse into her valuable role.
As part of a volunteer team they are responsible for a number of tenants and spend time with them all, sometimes on a one-to-one basis and sometimes as a group. They aim to ensure that each person gets to spend time with a befriender each week.
The small team come from a variety of Eastbourne Churches and that in itself gives volunteers an opportunity to work with others from across the town.
Our befriender is thoroughly enthusiastic as she talks of the ways in which she is able to get alongside the various tenants. They sometimes meet in the beautiful garden of the house, or walk or chat over a coffee, and sometimes venture further afield to garden centres or other destinations. During the last year of various lockdowns, they have continued to meet and support wherever possible. She reports that there are some beautiful friendships that have developed between befrienders and tenants and that the time she spends with them is most certainly a blessing and not a chore. Although it may take some time at the beginning to build up trust with someone new, after a while they respond to the love, concern and encouragement that they are given, resulting in a two-way relationship where the tenant may call to see how the befriender is doing. Recently one of the tenants found a DVD in a charity shop of a specific musical that they knew she would love to watch.
Her volunteering with Kingdom Way Trust began a number of years ago when she was involved each year with her church through the Winter Night Shelter. She has also volunteered at The Bridge and is a brilliant advert for volunteering across the whole charity.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in finding out more about volunteering in any of these projects we’d love to chat with you. Please do get in touch via the Contact Section