Befriending Week #BefriendingIs

Today marks the beginning of Befriending Week and this is Brian, one of our members at Mencap Liverpool & Sefton. To Brian befriending is so important this year and here’s why…. #Befriendingis

“Befriending is what helped me gain the confidence to talk to people.”

“I have been very fortunate to be involved with the befriending scheme for eight or nine years,” Brian says.

“My first befriender was called Andrew. At that stage talking to people in any situation was something I found extremely difficult. I spent most of my time alone. But as we chatted I found out that we had a lot in common. In particular we both enjoyed keeping active.

“We were both keen cyclists so we used to meet up and go for a bike ride together fairly regularly. The more we met the more my confidence increased. I found it easier talking to Andrew and people in general.

“In 2014, I met my new befriender called John. It was just like carrying on from my old one, as we have things in common. I have only had the chance to meet John twice so far this year, but my last meeting in the summer was special.

“I had been feeling isolated a lot since lockdown and scared to meet up with anyone at all. I met John in my local park and we went for a nice walk together. The weather was beautiful and sunny, and it made me appreciate everything around me a lot more.

“I would highly recommend the befriending scheme. I am now a much more confident person. Keeping active and going for bike rides has benefitted my physical and mental health enormously.”

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