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Telefriend Volunteer speaks about their volunteering experience

Published on 07 June 2022 12:22 PM

Using your spare time to help your local community is such an amazing thing to do. Our Telefriends Volunteer speaks out about her volunteering time with us and how it has changed their life as well as the life of the person she calls weekly!

“I am proud to be a Telefriends volunteer with Age UK Camden. I phone Bill* for 30 minutes weekly for a chat. Some weeks I have been the only person Bill has spoken to and I enjoy hearing his reflections on his life, past and present. We often finish with ‘I love my conversations with you’!

I was first introduced to Bill in April 2020, during the first Covid Lockdown. Our conversations have covered serious topics like world issues and lighter topics like Dragons’ Den or 1950s musicals. We’ve slowly covered every era of Bill’s fascinating and inspiring life. I feel privileged to be a holder of his story.

The phone call itself is a moment of mindfulness; a focus away from other pressures of life and a moment of true connectedness with another person. The benefits of a phone call are that it takes only 30 minutes and can fit into a day with ease. If we need to change the time, we do so, enabling our conversations never to be rushed or distracted.

My conversations with Bill certainly helped my mental health during lockdowns. And with my family, we dedicated time together, away from our work and school screens. This was often around food, games or TV; sometimes only brief, but always a priority.

As a Telefriends Volunteer, I have sometimes worried about Bill. It has helped me to use the resource of the Age UK  Camden'sTelefriends Team to ask for advice or share my concerns. I’ve also reminded myself of the boundaries of my volunteering role – boundaries which enable me to maintain a long and mutually beneficial friendship with Bill.

*Please note this client's name has been changed to protect their privacy

From one short phone call each week, I feel valued and personally enriched. I’ve learned that it doesn’t take long to make a big difference to someone’s life.”

Interesting in volunteering?

Are you wanting to find out more about our volunteering opportunities with our Telefriends team?