Hi I’m Robin and I’m a befriender at Richmond Fellowship’s Hammersmith and Fulham Employment and Wellbeing service. To be a befriender you need four things: empathy, charisma, commitment and passion. Oh and you have to be a good listener!
Most befrienders will spend 1-2 hours a week volunteering, but this can increase as you become more comfortable and confident with talking to people. You may eventually be matched with several people to provide companionship.
On any given day you could be talking, providing one to one support, going for walks together, exploring new places like parks and museums, meeting for coffee or accompanying your befriendee to appointments or a social group. I enjoy hearing positive feedback and about personal growth. Many of the people I speak with are very grateful for the service, which makes me proud to be a part of it. Befriending has helped me learn the value of silence in conversation, not rushing to fill gaps, but using the time to think. I have learnt that I am a good listener.