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
- More than a mealtime: sharing and enjoying food together (Care Connect, 2017)
- Complexity of loneliness and meaningful relationships (September 2019)
- Running a supportive and welcoming group – toolkit (September 2019)