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Become a Befriender

Ruby Cook, befriender for the Carers' Centre and Sociology student at Bath Spa University.

Sociology student Ruby Cook began volunteering when she found time on her hands during her gap year. Now 22, she’s spent three years as a volunteer befriender for the Carers’ Centre. As well as giving support and friendship to a lonely and isolated carer, she’s learnt new skills useful to her future career.

“I befriend a carer who has two children with disabilities,” said Ruby. “At first I wondered if my carer might prefer to be matched with someone nearer her age, but when we met she was so lovely and welcoming and we clicked right away.”

Ruby meets with the carer she supports once a month for a friendly catch-up and a cup of tea. “We always find plenty to chat about and we’ve become good friends. Sometimes we look through old photos and she’s always keen to hear about my life at Bath Spa University,” explained Ruby. “Befriending helps boost confidence if you are a carer and can’t get out much.

“Volunteering is becoming more important for young people to get experience and put something back into their community. It’s great for your self esteem and such a positive way to spend your free time. I enjoy the friendship I have with the carer I support and it feels good that I’m able to make her life a little less lonely.”

The Carers’ Centre provides regular support and comprehensive training for volunteers. If you are interested in befriending please contact the Centre on Freephone: 0800 0388 885 or email: info@banescarerscentre.org.uk