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My name is Hilary and I have been a befriender with Age UK Bucks for many years.  My role as a befriender is very varied.  I first became involved, when I realised that there are a lot of people who are very isolated and lonely in the community, especially in rural areas, and often living alone, having been bereaved or due to other circumstances, with some having no relatives at all.   
The training I received from Age UK Bucks was excellent and there is always help and support available. 

I have been a befriender to people with dementia, health issues, loneliness, through to End-of-Life support for both the person and their family.

Due to the health issues of the people I have befriended, I have always visited them in their homes as they were not well enough to go out. When Covid was at its peak I would still visit as much as I could do and sit in their garden talking to them through an open window.  In the winter months my contact would be made to the client via telephone.

Befriending often opens up a whole now world to somebody who feels or is isolated, lonely and who appreciates that there are people out there who do care. Sometimes on my visits we would have tea, biscuits, and chat, or watch tv together.

I feel it is a tremendous privilege to share another person's life - and at times knowing when to support further, and at times knowing when to step back a little.  For some, their befriender is often the only other person they may speak to or see in a week, apart from their carers.
I hope by my befriending this makes a welcome and positive impact upon the recipients. Helping build their confidence back to get out into the community and to ultimately feel independent again.

We hope that you found this story inspring. Become a volunteer Befriender, like Hilary.