LINDSEY FEALEY, volunteer telephone befriender

Volunteer telephone befriender for the Princes Risborough area in response to COVID-19

A longstanding volunteer for many years, Lindsey recently also became a volunteer telephone befriender for people isolated by the coronavirus situation. This role was set up by the local Council Hub in Princes Risborough and she was placed through the Volunteer Matching Service.

Lindsey explains: “Lots of people self-isolating do not have access to the internet and rely on the TV and radio where there is a huge amount of negativity in the news. A telephone befriender provides personalised support according to what each person needs. Where there is a practical concern, I can connect them with the Council’s local Hub to help sort things out. But many people are, above all else, lonely. As a befriender I am perhaps the only human contact they have that day. We can chat about the weather, life in general or can talk about possible coping strategies, such as the importance of having structure in the day. Every call does make a difference.”

The length of calls and frequency vary according to each person. The longest calls tend to be with people who are living alone – her longest call has lasted 45 minutes but many are much shorter.

Lindsey knows her calls are valued: “The people I befriend over the phone are usually full of gratitude: expressing thanks and often conveying a sense of relief at the end of a call. They greet me with enthusiasm when I next call. It really is a two-way street – we both get a lot out of it.”

Lindsey is also a volunteer bereavement listener for the Florence Nightingale Hospice.

 

If you are are looking for a volunteering role, you can register your interest with the Buckinghamshire Volunteer Matching Service.

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Image courtesy of St Francis's Children Society