Could you make a difference in someone’s life? Volunteers needed in March and Wisbech

New volunteer befrienders needed for Eddie’s.Steph at the farm.

New volunteer befrienders needed for Eddie’s.Steph at the farm. - Credit: Archant

A local charity is appealing for people to come forward to become befriender volunteers and make a real difference in people’s lives around the Fens.

Eddie’s, formerly Cambridgeshire Mencap, supports adults with a learning disability.

Volunteers meet with their friend for a few hours, which means many volunteers fit it alongside work and family commitments.

Bev Housden, volunteer befriender with Eddie’s said: “Having recently retired from nursing I wanted to give something back to the community by volunteering and I’ve never looked back.

“I first met Steph, a lady in her mid 40’s with mild learning disabilities, in June 2012. She was very shy and quiet. Having met her at home with her mum and the befriending coordinator a couple of times we decided to go bowling.”


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After a few trips bowling they then tried horse riding at a local Riding for the Disabled centre, she also started at “Artworks” an arts, crafts and drama day centre run by Eddies.

“Steph’s confidence in going to different places and meeting new people went from strength to strength.

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“Over the two years Steph took part in a fashion show and modelled for a local store to fundraise for Eddies, this was something she would not have done due to lack of self-confidence previously. This was a huge achievement.”

“It is a very humbling experience to know such a small thing as befriending could make such a difference.”

Volunteers must be over 18 but do not need any previous experience as full training is provided.

Volunteers are matched with someone of a similar age, location and similar interests. Eddie’s reimburses expenses.

Suzanne Lombardo, volunteer coordinator at Eddie’s said; “Volunteering is always fun, doesn’t cost you a penny and it really does make a big difference to the person being befriended as well as the volunteer.”

Contact Suzanne on 01354 651166 or email Suzanne.lombardo@eddies.org.uk To find out more about benefiting from this service please call Vanessa or email Vanessa.droy@eddies.org.uk.

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