Telephone Befriending – Kate
We have continued our Befriending scheme during Covid-19, adapting it to regular phone calls and working in partnership with Doorstep Help.
We caught up with Befriending Scheme Organiser Kate to find out how it’s been adapting the programme:
“As soon as Covid-19 happened we did our risk assessments for our current befriendees, my first concern was there might be a breakdown in care and support for them but it was a relief to find this was not the case.
I also phoned everyone to check-in, on the whole people seemed very resilient and managing as for a lot of our befriendees they were not going out that much before this happened.
The scheme was in a strong position to adapt to Covid-19 as we have a bank of trained volunteers and pre-existing matched befrienders who were ready to step up their support to also provide Doorstep help to those that needed it.
One local volunteer who has been marvellous in helping to collect medication and shopping for an isolated older person she was visiting regularly previously. She likes to drop it off and they have a quick chat to each other through the upper floor window at a very safe distance.
Our Befrienders are now doing shorter regular calls instead of a weekly visit. This little and often approach is having an impact with one lady sharing with us “you have and are helping my mental health”. We like to see what we do as part of us working together with other professionals in Camden to make individuals feel supported. It’s also important to check in on the welfare of our volunteers and share any useful resources we have to support them.
My first week I had so much to do, but now I keep to my normal routine, I walk my dog in the morning which sets me up for the day!”