It’s Befriending Week (1st-7th November), which celebrates the positive impact of friendship and this year, the importance of helping the people we support to build new relationships and keep connected with others is more prevalent than ever.
Our dedicated volunteers have been continuing to help bridge that gap throughout this challenging year, which is highlighted in Tom and Adam’s story…
Uni student Tom started volunteering with Dimensions as a buddy with Adam, just before the coronavirus lockdown came into effect – but the pandemic has not stopped him and his buddy from building a great new friendship together!
“I’m currently studying at university and had a module which involved me taking up work experience. Having spent a significant amount of time looking, I found that Dimensions provided me with the opportunity that excited me the most.
“Some of my favourite moments would be the laughs that Adam and I have shared when we were able to meet face to face. Before lockdown (when we were still allowed to go to the pub!), it was great to see Adam have conversations with the bar staff, because it showed me that he was gaining confidence in my company.
“When lockdown happened, I recognised that this was going to be a challenging time for all of us, which meant I wanted to make sure he still received support. We discussed the pandemic a lot which I think helped him feel more comfortable, and helped him recognise he wasn’t alone and we now have weekly phone calls. I’m excited for when things go back to normal so we can get back to meeting up!”
Adam really enjoys keeping in touch with his volunteer buddy Tom:
“I have really enjoyed having Tom as a volunteer and had good chats and laughs with him. He was nice to me and I miss meeting him and going to the pub with him. It’s nice of Tom to keep in touch with me on the phone throughout Covid to see how I am. I would say go for it, if you can have a volunteer. It’s fun and like having a mate.”
Tom continues: “I have learnt so much about how to build up a relationship with someone and just about how I can be generally supportive for someone else. I’ve learned so much about myself, which has helped me become a more well-rounded individual.”
“Volunteering has been such a rewarding experience for me, and I feel like I’ve learned so much about being a buddy and how I can be supportive for others, while enjoying every moment. The feeling of having a positive effect on someone’s life is an incredible feeling.”