The RAF Association is looking to recruit volunteers across Mablethorpe for its befriending service, which pairs volunteers with members of the RAF community who are struggling with feeling lonely or isolated.
With 170,000 RAF veterans dealing with issues of isolation, and 85,000 of them coping specifically with feelings of loneliness, the service is a valuable source of companionship to members of the RAF family.
Looking to recruit volunteers from across all ages and backgrounds, as the Association’s Volunteer Manager, Katharine Montgomery, said there are key qualities they look for in befrienders:
Katharine said: “Befrienders can play such an important role in somebody’s life and while there is no single type of person we look for, a good befriender is someone that is caring and empathetic, able to build a rapport with people, reliable, and a good listener.”
Volunteers support their ‘befriendees’ in a number of simple ways such as popping round for a cup of tea, researching local community groups where the befriendee could potentially meet new friends, or simply being at the end of the phone for a chat.
It’s not just the befriendee who benefits from the service. The benefits for volunteers include learning new skills, building confidence, meeting new people and the opportunity to give back to their community.
Training is given to volunteers that includes a one-day course covering everything volunteers need to know to be an effective befriender.
For more information on becoming a befriender, visit rafa.org.uk/befriending.