Under the Together For You project, Praxis Care run a befriending scheme, matching those who are socially isolated as a result of mental ill health with trained and enthusiastic volunteers, who give their time and enthusiasm for free.
Angeles and Eileen – Praxis Care Befriending Match Story
Angeles and Eileen have been matched through this scheme since November. Angeles, who is originally from Spain, moved to Northern Ireland to gain some experience relevant to her Occupational Therapy Degree and to improve her English. After applying to volunteer with Praxis Care and completing some volunteer induction training for the befriending role, Angeles was matched with Eileen.
Eileen lives in South Belfast and was experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation as a result of her mental ill health and reduced mobility. On their first meeting they planned what they would like to do over the next few weeks. One of the goals which Angeles had was to help Eileen learn how to text using her mobile phone, something simple but very useful! They also completed word puzzles and craft projects together, a hobby of Eileen’s in the past, so it was good to reintroduce this to her so that she could continue doing it without the input from Angeles.
In addition to activities in Eileen’s home they also went out shopping and for coffee increasing Eileen’s socialisation and helping her to get out of the house more. Angeles also used her Occupational Therapy skills by encouraging Eileen to start some light exercises and relaxation techniques in her home. Angeles also encouraged Eileen to think about new recipes and they chatted about healthy eating.
Angeles said “the days I spent with Eileen were fantastic. I will miss her so much. It has been an incredible experience that I would recommend to everyone”.
Eileen similarly enjoyed making a new friend, chatting, learning and getting out and about a bit more.
To find out more, get a referral form, a volunteer application form or to speak to someone about the service, contact Catherine on: 028 9072 7161 / 028 9023 4555 / or email firstname.lastname@example.org / www.praxiscare.org.uk
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