Key learning: friendship
Most successful projects have encouraged and fostered true friendship outside of the initial activity.
“I know I’m lonely when I am looking forward to my carers coming in, but they are paid, they have to come to me. They are not my friends”
“I feel more active and a bit more positive about my life. I have made friends with other volunteers and I have a purpose”
“I have learnt a new way of living life. I look forward to attending the group. I also help out as a volunteer now. This has given me courage to come out of grieving”
Groups which have achieved this have understood that this takes time to develop. Genuine friendships can’t be forced. Workers and volunteers need to know the individuals they are working with personally and gently encourage them to develop relationships with others.
Time to Shine reports
- Case study of the Bee Together project (Time to Shine/University of Sheffield)
- Complexity Of Loneliness And Meaningful Relationships Report (Time To Shine, September 2019)
- Developing Friendships Toolkit (Time To Shine, 2019)
- More than a mealtime: sharing and enjoying food together (Care Connect, 2017)
- Running A Supportive And Welcoming Group Toolkit (Time To Shine, September 2019)
- SELF: supporting older people’s mental health – end of project report (Time to Shine, May 2021)
- Warm Welcome checklists (Time To Shine, July 2021) Pack of practical checklists and tools to help you adopt a Warm Welcome approach.
- Young at Arts: Time to Shine end of project report (Time to Shine, 2017)