“Befriending Match has benefited both of us” Maria and Caitriona’s Story

Maria and Caitriona have been ‘matched’ together as part of the Praxis Care Befriending scheme. This scheme is part of Together For You, a mental health and wellbeing project funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Praxis Care Befriending supports individuals who feel lonely or isolated as a result of their mental ill health by matching a volunteer with them to go out for a coffee, out for a walk, to the cinema etc.  This is exactly what has happened with Maria and Caitriona who have been matched since October 2014.

Since then a solid friendship has been formed between the two ladies from Belfast.  Maria and Caitriona meet up each week to go out for a coffee, to the cinema and most importantly to have a chat. 

When reflecting on their befriending match Caitriona said “I expected it to be harder to get on with someone totally new, I didn’t expect to get on as well as we do”.  The Befriending match has increased the range of activities that Caitriona gets involved in, especially in the evenings.  Caitriona feels that she has more confidence now as a result of meeting Maria and being involved in Praxis Care Befriending.

When Maria signed up to volunteer with the Praxis Care Befriending Scheme she was keen to make a difference and help someone else out but says that the experience has been better than expected.  “We have learnt from each other and I feel that I have made a new friend. I look forward to meeting up with Caitriona.  Getting to know Caitriona has benefited me as well, it works both ways”. 

Anyone can get involved as a Befriending Volunteer all you need is some spare time, as little as an hour a week could make all the difference to someone who feels lonely or isolated.

If you feel you have the skills to be a Befriending Volunteer please get in touch with Catherine at Praxis Care on 028 972 7161 / volunteering@praxiscare.org.uk  or sign up on our website www.praxiscare.org.uk


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