Be a friend of March charity

Steph, one of the people who has been helped by the charity Eddie's. ANL-150129-112156001
Steph, one of the people who has been helped by the charity Eddie's. ANL-150129-112156001
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Eddie’s – a local charity supporting adults with a learning disability through its befriending scheme – needs more volunteers in Fenland.

The charity is looking for people in the March and Wisbech areas who can help to make a difference to someone’s life.

If you are aged 18 and over with a few hours to spare each month to go on things like meals out, trips to the seaside or meeting for a cuppa and a chat, Eddie’s would like to hear from you.

Suzanne Lombardo, volunteer co-ordinator, said: “Volunteering is always fun, doesn’t cost a penny and really does make a big difference to the person being befriended, as well as the volunteer.

“We provide fantastic opportunities for volunteers with lots of help and support to ensure each achieves what they want from the experience.”

Bev Housden, a volunteer befriender who joined Eddie’s after seeing a local paper advert, said: “Having retired from nursing I wanted to give something back to the community and I’ve never looked back.”

She has been a befriender to Steph, in her mid-40s with mild learning disabilities. When she first met her two years ago, Steph was very shy and quiet.

Bev took her bowling, which had a positive result. She said: “I collected Steph from the day centre. Members of staff said she had been talking about it all day and looking out for me to pick her up.”

From there, Steph asked if she could go horse-riding and Bev found a Riding for the Disabled centre and took her weekly.

Steph also started to attend weekly sessions at “Artworks” an arts, crafts and drama day centre also run by Eddie’s.

Bev said: “Steph’s confidence in going to different places and meeting new people went from strength to strength. She conversed with staff and other users at RDA and asked to go to different places she wanted to try.

“I have enjoyed befriending Steph and watching her gain confidence whilst making new friends.

“Knowing it has helped her mum regain some free time for herself is a wonderful feeling.”

Volunteers do not need any previous experience as full training is provided free.

If you would like to become a befriender contact Suzanne at the Fenland office on 01354 651166 or email Suzanne.lombardo@eddies.org.uk

To find out more about benefiting from this service, call Vanessa or email Vanessa.droy@eddies.org.uk