Alina's empathy fostering connections - her experience of being a Blether Buddy
Alina herself has felt isolated and lonely after moving to a new community. This meant she was keen to join our Befriending program for volunteers, that links some of our clients with a volunteer for a regular chat.
Why did you want to volunteer for ScotsCare?
I wanted to do something for other people. I never volunteer before and befriending resonated with me as in the past I was feeling lonely at times as a immigrant here, so the idea of giving my time to people who need company or chat fitted very well with my idea of help and support I could give to others.
Do you feel you get more out of your volunteer experience as it meant you were able to support other Scots?
I definitely feel getting to know people from different background and looking for a common shared interest is what makes volunteering interesting for both sides.
How have you personally benefitted from the experience?
The training session were very helpful not only for volunteering but my everyday life. I feel more confident in approaching other people and dealing with emotional issues.
What do you think your befriendee gets out of the relationship? Have you seen a change in them since you have been their befriendee?
My buddy is lonely and I feel like he just like to have someone who remembers about him, call him to ask how he is and what he been up to. Sitting all day every day alone with no one to talk must be hard so I could break this silence and make my buddy smile when I call him.
Do you think that the isolating impact of Covid-19 has made your befriending even more important to your befriendee?
Definitely. Isolation, restriction and limited contact with people had and still have a negative impact on our life. Those who were vulnerable and struggling with mental health and loneliness before Covid are definitely not better after last 18 months.
Would you recommend this to others? If so, what would you say to them?
By helping others, you are helping yourself. It doesn’t take long to speak to other people, but it makes a difference.
What is ScotsCare like to volunteer for?
My experience is very positive; I feel like part of like-minded community, people I have met are very helpful and engaging. Louise, my coordinator is very helpful, caring and understanding. I hope I can continue my role as we are moving forward and try face-to-face engagement with clients.
Would you like to volunteer for ScotsCare? Please contact email@example.com to find out more.