When Harry decided he wanted to give something back to his local community, he didn’t realise that he would also get something very special: a new friend.
Having a volunteer befriender can make a huge difference for people we support. As friendships develop, volunteers can support people to take part in activities they enjoy and try new experiences. This encouragement helps people we support to become more confident and has a huge positive impact on their wellbeing.
It was by becoming a volunteer befriender that Harry met Westley. Westley is friendly, outgoing and loves to chat. Harry and Westley began meeting up every two weeks and quickly became good friends, enjoying going for walks, lunch and coffee, and simply having a laugh together. Harry likes hearing about the history of Quarriers from Westley, while Westley enjoyed a trip to the fire station where Harry works.
They have shared new experiences too: in July 2017, they spoke about the benefits of befriending in a live interview with Kaye Adams on BBC Radio Scotland. Harry emphasised how fulfilling volunteering can be and how much he enjoys spending time with Westley.
“The best part of volunteering for me has been developing a friendship with Westley. The time we spend together just flies by,” he says. “I would recommend volunteering to anyone as a small amount of time out of your day can have such a big impact on someone else’s.”
Visit www.quarriers.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering for more information on volunteering.