Befriending project looks for new volunteers in 2018

Shared hobbies cement friendships.
Shared hobbies cement friendships.

New year resolutions come and go - many rarely making it beyond the first week - but one resolution that could be kept is to become a befriender.

Berwickshire Housing Association’s befriender project manager, Terri Bearhope is urging local people to make a commitment to help another person in 2018.

Befriending comes in all shapes and sizes. For example, befriending young people who have learning disabilities, or adults who are trying to get back into work, or older people who are lonely and vulnerable.

In Berwickshire and Kelso you can volunteer with BeFriend, BHA’s Big Lottery-funded project which provides company for lonely, isolated older people in the towns and surrounding area.

Terri, the BeFriend project co-ordinator, said: “We have a number of older people in the area who see very few people on a day to day basis.

“By making a New Year resolution to become a volunteer for us, you would be helping to alleviate the loneliness experienced by many older people who have become less mobile, and more isolated.”

The project recruits, checks, and trains volunteers and matches volunteers up with someone in the area, usually for weekly visits.

Terri said: “This is a long term project and we’re not looking for quick fixes; we try to match people who are compatible with one another, and who can form a long lasting friendship.

“However, we would also like to speak to anyone who is willing to be a driver for the project or who would be interested in helping out at one of our group befriending sessions, especially in Eyemouth.”

So if you’re on the look out for a positive new year’s resolution that can make a difference to others the befriender project could be just right for you.

Psychologists suggest that making a commitment to someone else, and telling other people about your resolution can help you to keep it.

If you would be interested in making a New Year resolution this month, one that ticks all the boxes, contact BeFriend by calling 01361 884000 or emailing Twitter @BHA_BeFriend or Facebook BHABeFriend.