A Monmouthshire-based charity is calling for befrienders in the Abergavenny area to make a huge difference in the lives of lonely or isolated people.
‘Volunteering for Wellbeing’ works in partnership with Monmouthshire County Council and aims to link people them with volunteering opportunities.
The charity is currently looking for friendly, patient volunteers in the Abergavenny area to befriend lonely or isolated people.
By becoming a befriender, volunteers will offer companionship to someone in the local area by being matched up by common interests and backgrounds.
Volunteer coordinator, Charmaine Cunningham stated, ‘We often hear how valued and appreciative our beneficiaries feel once they have got to know our volunteers, it often becomes a natural friendship and we hear wonderful stories.
‘When you get in touch with us you will be invited to meet with your local volunteer coordinator who will explain the particular opportunities available in your area.
‘We take time to get to know each volunteer, to make sure we link them with the right opportunity and ensure that the appropriate support is available to them in their role. We know that people appreciate the social aspect of volunteering, the chance to build confidence, make new friends and learn new skills.’
‘Volunteers provide company and create friendships with lonely and isolated older people at home or out in the community. Since restrictions have eased we have had requests for all sorts of interests and backgrounds.’
Leslie Caine has lived in Abergavenny since 1949 and raised his family here.
He approached Volunteering for Wellbeing in 2019 as he was feeling lonely and wanted to feel valued and to give something back.
When asked what befriending meant to Les, he said: ‘‘It’s someone to talk to, we chat on the phone sometimes or I’ll pop to visit her.
‘‘Sometimes it can be two minutes and other times we just can’t stop nattering away to each other.
‘‘When we see each other we talk about our gardens and I will often bring her some of my home grown veg when I can.
‘‘Over the summer I’ve been able to be part of the window box project which runs from Growing Space at Mardy Park.
‘‘We class each other as a friend now, and we wouldn’t have met if I hadn’t offered to volunteer.
‘‘Since offering to volunteer I have met other volunteers from different walks of life and got to know them well.
‘‘From there also being able to join these different opportunities around.’’