This Befriending week (1st November-7th November) we caught up with Julie Christie one of our fantastic Volunteer Telephone Befrienders to find out a little more about the wonderful support provided to our service users.
I was one of the first ward volunteers in The Beatson and thoroughly enjoyed my Friday mornings on the ward chatting with patients, I missed this hugely during lockdown.
As I moved to working full time, I knew it would be unlikely I could return to the wards when things opened back up again. When Paul contacted me about the possibility of becoming a telephone befriender, it was the perfect solution as I could schedule befriending calls around my working day.
The support you receive as a befriender is excellent. There's practical training to get you started and you have the option to debrief with one of the volunteer team after every call if you need. There's also a range of really helpful support sessions with the BCC team that you can book in for.
The opportunity to debrief after a call has been most helpful for me. Every client's experience is different and as the befriending service has grown, being able to explore options or services for different circumstances ensures the best possible outcome for the client.
Our hug during the first time we met face-to-face at the Beatson Blether. I didn’t want to let her go!! I think it's safe to say, we laugh together, we worry together, and the strength we get from our Friday chats is mutual.