Coffee morning will highlight work of befriending scheme and need for volunteers in Fenland

COULD you spare a few hours a month to help change someone’s life? There are 37 people waiting for a volunteer befriender to help them get out.

Fenland branch of Mencap is holding a coffee morning on Wednesday March 9 at its office at 87 High Street, March, from 10-12 noon so people can find out more about the scheme.

Joe Ward has been volunteering with Cambridgeshire Mencap for six months after seeing an advert and deciding to give it a try.

He said: “I am a befriender with a chap called Kim, this involves going to his house, having a cup of tea with kim and his family, catching up with who is going to win X-Factor before we head off to the driving range.

“We smack a few buckets of golf balls and have a laugh. It’s just like going out with one of your mates who needs a bit of your spare time.”

Kim has always wanted to play golf and develop his skills on the golf course. With Joe’s support Kim has been able to achieve his dream. Kim said: “I really enjoy being part of the befriending scheme. I especially enjoy playing golf with Joe and feel like I have really improved since he has been helping me. I am really pleased.”

The befriending scheme helps people with a learning disability to make friends and spend time with new people helping them to get out and enjoy themselves and try new things.

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Volunteering for the scheme involves an informal interview with a co-ordinator and attending some training sessions. Joe said: “I met Kim with the co-ordinator a few times and that’s it. We’ve been going out to different places ever since, from firework displays to playing golf, and to the charity’s regular disco. It’s great to take Kim out to all these different places and I get to meet other volunteers at events.

“I’m so glad I got in touch about volunteering, if you’re thinking about volunteering just do it, you’ll never regret it.”

To find out more about volunteering go along to the coffee morning or call Suzanne at the Fenland office on 01354 651166 or email suzanne@cambridgeshiremencap.co.uk

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