Why should I become a telephone befriender?

Let’s set the scene;

It’s a chilly spring morning and there has been a lot of rain over night, you are sitting at the window looking out into your small garden and watching the birds sing to each other. You reach your hand down to stroke your wonderful dog who has been a companion for ten years, only to then realise he is no longer there.

Tears spring to your eyes as you realise another day is going to pass without speaking to or seeing anyone. The loneliness fills your day and time seems to slow down. Your wonderful pet, who was both friend and companion, filled up so much of your day, but even then you missed the to and fro of a good conversation. You feel so isolated, if only there was someone for you to talk to…

Its 8am and you are in a rush to get to school! The kids cannot be late again, shoes, coats and bags on and out the door. The sun is shining and although you feel rushed it feels wonderful walking and holding their precious hands. You drop them off at the classroom door with a big hug and begin the walk home.

As you approach home the day stretches out in front of you and the feeling of dread creeps in at the thought of going back to the silence. The house was filled with so much chatter and laughter, shouting and tears that its hard to be there with no one. You wish there was someone to help break up the day until pick up….

As you snuggle on the sofa, your husband starts talking about football again, but you are only half listening. You are thinking about the wonderful conversations you used to have with your friends, about things that interested and inspired you. You know your husband only watches your favourite programmes because he loves you, but he won’t discuss the intricacies of the story line never mind have a good gossip about what’s her face on TV. A tidal wave of sadness washes over you as you remember your best friend’s big send off, it was wonderful to see her move across the country to live with her daughter, but now there is a big hole in your life. Oh, how you wish you had someone to have a cuppa and chat with…

How has that made you feel? For us at Staying Well, it can be overwhelmingly sad to hear stories like this every day and it gives us the push to try and help people who are feeling lonely and / or isolated.

How can you help? You can explore becoming a volunteer with Staying Well. We currently have positions available as volunteer telephone befrienders. A telephone befriender is someone who has an immeasurable impact on lonely and isolated individuals. Try reading the scenarios again but this time follow them with this:

“It was getting to your favourite time again, the call from your befriender. You look forward to this call every week and it makes such a difference. You are now feeling confident enough to explore classes in the community, and to be honest it is just nice to talk to someone about last night’s show!

You smile the biggest smile of the week when the phone starts ringing. “Hello, how are you? Can you believe what happened last night!”…

What a feeling of hope. You could be that lifeline, the reason for that smile by becoming a telephone befriender.

We ask for up to an hour of your time once a week for a 6 month commitment and the calls offer a chance for someone to connect with the wider community. We offer ongoing training and support as well as many other perks!

For more information contact us at 01422 392767 or stayingwellproject@calderdale.gov.uk