Volunteers’ Week 2022: Caroline’s Experience with Praxis
Caroline has been volunteering with Praxis Care for almost 20 years, read about her experience below:
I began volunteering for Praxis Care and became a Befriender with the Young Persons service in 2003.
I’ve been matched with numerous young people over the years and really enjoy seeing them progress in their lives.
I am still in contact with some of them, one of my young people has a son and lives a full and happy life and another is at University and works part-time. Some of the young people are still supported by various services but they are all moving forward with their lives and I believe they are in a better place than they would have been if they hadn’t had befriending support when they were younger.
I think having a befriender gives them an outlet, a listening ear and a chance to spend time with someone who wants to be with them, which can only make them feel valued.
There have been a lot of laughs along the way. One event in particular still makes me laugh when I think about it. I took my young person to Thunder Land which was a fairground that used to be at The King’s Hall; it was pouring with rain the whole time, we went on all the rides and were completely soaked but all we could do was laugh. My young person won a 6ft plastic banana which ended up covered in mud and required its own seat on the train home! Great memories.
I’ll have been befriending for 20 years in 2023 and still feel like it is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done but I have realised that I don’t really mention it to people. 20 years later it is just part of what I do.
Thanks very much to Caroline for sharing her story with us and a huge thanks to all of our volunteers who do such great work!