As part of Volunteers Week 2022, we met up with some of our volunteers to hear about their experiences at St. Augustine's Centre.
Lucy Lee volunteers in our Befriending scheme, building friendship with a centre member to help integrate into the new community and diminish loneliness. Here's what she had to say:
"I'm Lucy and I'm a volunteer befriender for the 'Helping Hand Project' at St. Augustine's.
I think it's a really important project and a great way of helping people who are new to the local community to be given a supported friendship the aim of which is for the befriendee to become involved in activities close to their new home. In time the person being befriended becomes part of the fabric of the community in which they live and any isolation or loneliness may decrease. It's the simple things such as going to Halifax market for a look around or going for a cup of tea together or a walk in 'The People's Park'.
I really enjoy seeing a person's confidence grow through having a befriending relationship and know that this can help to make the person become familiar with their surroundings and to know they are not alone and have someone to help guide them towards the things they would like to do.
Helping my befriendees to access all the wonderful activities that St. Augustine's offer is key to this such as the upcoming visit to Shibden Park on June 1st. I'm very much looking forward to this event and going to it with the couple I befriend.
Last year I was working for an older lady in a supportive role and she sadly died last December at the great age of 94 years old. Her son, Robin Gray, wanted to give me a gift of money to thank me for the work I had done for his lovely Mum but we both agreed for the money to be given as a donation to St. Augustine's as we understand the important and great work that St. Augustine's does. I asked for the money to be spent on 'The Helping Hand Project.
Befriending is not only beneficial for the people being befriended it can also help the befriender's confidence to grow and bring deeper meaning to our lives and our understanding of other people's cultures and life experience."
A huge thank you to Lucy and the many other volunteers who help keep our centre running, week after week!