Befriending celebrated at annual event

Volunteers from across East Ayrshire gathered recently to celebrate Befriending.

Vibrant Communities hold the special event each year to recognise the Children, Young People and Older Adult Befriending Services. The event is part of a wider Befriending Week Campaign run by Befriending Networks.

Dedicated volunteer befrienders who give their time to support children, young people and older adults in our communities were presented with a special certificate thanking them for their time and efforts.

Councillor Elena Whitham, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities said: “In the last year alone, our wonderful volunteers have spent over 2000 hours supporting people of all ages across East Ayrshire. Their time is having a huge impact on others.

“Befriending is mutually beneficial and purposeful relationship with an individual supporting another individual boosting confidence, self-esteem and reducing loneliness. I would urge anyone with a few hours to spare each week to volunteer and become a befriender.”

A befriender who spoke at the event about her experiences as a volunteer said: “I can’t recommend volunteering as a befriender enough. The amount of time you give up to support a child is nothing in comparison to the huge impact you can make on that young person’s life.”

While an older adult who has a befriender said: “It is just nice to have a bit of company.”