Poor mental health and social isolation often go hand-in-hand. At Buckinghamshire Mind we believe that it is vital to encourage people to form and maintain positive relationships. Our Befriending Service helps start a positive shift towards building trust, confidence and self-esteem.
At end of March 2017 we had set-up 68 befriending partnerships. Volunteers tell us they get a huge amount out of befriending and feel valued and useful. We support the development of our volunteer befrienders with a calendar of events that includes a range of training and activities to ensure they can grow and progress within the Bucks Mind family.
What our service users say:
“My befriender has provided company and opportunity. I can see myself through someone else’s eyes and can check my thinking and whether my perceptions are reasonable.”
“I am back in work. Befriending helped me get out of a rut.”
“It’s something to look forward to and gives you a boost.”
“I’m getting more confident and helping to improve things for myself.”
“Befriending has given me confidence and changed my attitude.”
Sally experiences both physical and mental illness, leaving her feeling very socially isolated.
Now, several months into her befriending partnership, Sally is engaging in several of our services including; seeing her befriender out in the community once a week, joining a weekly walking group, receiving advise concerning Personal Independence Payments and is now attending a yoga/physical movement club.
Sally has gone from only leaving the house when she has appointments to attending social occasions up to three times per week.
The noticeable changes in Sally’s life have made a positive impact on both her physical and mental wellbeing. The exercise is helping her cope with the effects of her illness, while meeting with her befriender and meeting people through various groups is helping her to improve her wellbeing.
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