Having worked in the diplomatic field for 25 years, I have always been interested in working with people on an International level. I moved from London to East Sussex five years ago. I expressed my interest in volunteering with SIS and fortunately received the opportunity to join the Bilingual Telephone Befriending in May 2020. As we know it was during the Pandemic and soon I received 6 matches from different social backgrounds and language needs. The one major point they all had in common was the feeling of being particularly isolated and having few people they can connect with mainly because of the language barrier.
Without doubt The Bilingual Telephone Befriending service was like a breath of fresh air to them. A fantastic arrangement in order to make a real difference to their personal life and to create a positive outlook.
Looking back to 18 months ago, I feel so content to see each one of my 6 matches ( I still have contact with some of them) is a lot more confident having a better understanding of their personal life and problems. This is not because of me, but it
is mostly because Befriending and SIS recognized how valuable a phone call can be in relieving isolation and other social stresses. I most certainly witnessed with my eyes how effective this service has been and how important it is to be continued because of the important role in helping the needed people to regain a sense of purpose and direction, boosting their confidence by connecting them with the community as it has done with all my matches.
I am so proud that through the befriending service I could achieve a special and unique relationship with those who I have been in contact with as for many it simply means that there is still someone there to talk to and who cares. I sincerely thank you for giving me this opportunity and very much hope this service continues to provide the best it can through the scheme members.