I was referred to FDAMH by my psychologist. I had let myself become socially isolated and was spending most of my time in my house not seeing people. I felt unable to break the cycle I had got into by myself and I discussed it with my psychologist and she referred me to Jane Shirra with the Link Service at FDAMH. During discussions with Jane about things I could do to become less socially isolated she told me about the Befriending Service that FDAMH offered. She said if I wanted to she could refer me, and, even though this caused me some anxiety, I decided to go ahead with this.
After only a few days I received a letter saying that Stuart and Julie from the befriending service were coming to visit me at my house to discuss what the befriending service was and whether it would be appropriate for me. On the day they were due to come I was really anxious and at one point considered cancelling the appointment, but within five minutes of meeting Stuart and Julie I was put at ease and made to feel extremely comfortable. Stuart explained to me what the Befriending Service was all about and we discussed the kind of things I would like to do with a befriender. We agreed that Stuart would put me on the list for a befriender, but he warned me that it could be a while before an appropriate befriender became available for me.
Only a few weeks later I received a letter from Stuart telling me they had found a befriender for me and invited me to meet her. I was worried about meeting her in case she didn’t like me, but Stuart stayed with us for a bit and then left us to chat ourselves which I really enjoyed. At that time we made an arrangement to meet in the town for tea and a chat and we just took things from there.
It has now been a year since I met my befriender and the arrangement has finished. During this time we met every week for tea or lunch or the cinema. This has been one of the most uplifting things I have ever done. Just to go out for a cuppa with someone and to relax and just chat about anything and everything has been such an awesome experience. It has given me a whole different perspective about life and has made me appreciate the people in my life better. It has been one of the best experiences of my life and I am so thankful to everyone involved.
Provided November 2014