Care in the Community
Part of the St John's vision statement reads: "We partner with other organizations in order to meet the needs of our community through loving service." One such opportunity has arisen through the Bracknell Forest Befriending Scheme which aims to reach out to those in our community who feel isolated - simple regular human contact can make some people feel like their lives are worth living again. Perhaps God is nudging you be involved in this ministry? Read on....
Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone.
People can be isolated or feel alone for all sorts of reasons –health problems, people living alone having lost loved ones and with families living some distance away, be homebound or have other circumstances which make opportunities for developing friendship difficult. Sometimes people feel alone even when they are in regular contact with others.
Befriending is simply a supported friendship between two people, a volunteer befriender and a member of the local community who feels isolated or alone, and is the simple act of giving your time to someone who needs support and friendship. Someone they know is there for them without expecting payment or a return of favour.
This is also of benefit to a potential befriender, who might also be lonely and in need of company, but who is perhaps more active and able and can therefore help someone else less mobile than themselves.
We have all been befrienders at some time in our life on an informal level, eg keeping an eye on an elderly relative, popping in to see a lonely neighbour, etc.
This project aims to match volunteer befrienders with socially isolated people to provide both one to one contact and also encourage people, through increased confidence, to participate in community activities.
The scheme is run through Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action (BFVA) with a part time Befriending Coordinator, who will support volunteers through training, advice and guidance, and then match up befrienders with ‘clients’ which are referred through statutory agencies, churches, other groups or indeed through self referral.