Volunteers needed in the Fens to befriend adults with learning disabilities

15:52 28 July 2014

Stephen Tommy.

Stephen Tommy.

Archant

Fenland-based charity Eddie’s is looking for reliable volunteers to join their befriending scheme and make a difference to someone’s life.

Volunteers will provide one-to-one support to adults with a learning disability by helping them to engage in activities they enjoy.

From trips to the cinema to Zumba sessions it helps build their friend’s confidence, social skills and sense of independence.

The Befriending Scheme is a vital part of the work done by Eddie’s in helping adults with a learning disability enjoy life as much as possible.

Befrienders can arrange activities such as meeting up for lunch, going shopping or anything that the pair can enjoy together. Additionally, they can participate in one of Eddie’s own regular activity sessions which can include barbecues, picnics and discos.

Jo and Tommy Kelly have been a befriender with Eddie’s for almost four years.

Jo said: “The Befriending Scheme allows and encourages people to meet to enjoy common interests and share fun times in a safe, controlled but flexible way.

“We very quickly became friends with Stephen and have a great relationship with him. We felt very early on that our friendship was as natural as any other and the Befriending Scheme was simply the initial facilitator in this although we know if we need any help or guidance that support is only a phone call or email away.”

The Scheme carefully matches volunteers, based on location and personality, and encourages each pair to meet at least once a month.

Access to a car is preferred as the scheme operates around March, Wisbech, Whittlesey, Chatteris and Ely.

Travel and activity costs are reimbursed.

Volunteer befrienders do not need any previous experience as full training is given.

For details contact Suzanne.lombardo@eddies.org.uk or call 01354 651166.

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