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Posted on Feb 14 2018 by Bobbie Kelly

We say hello to our first Befriender in Birmingham

Our team of volunteers make a huge contribution to the wellbeing of our patients, and support our staff to transform the lives of people affected by mental health issues.

St Andrew’s volunteers bring joy into our hospitals by donating their time and energy in a number of roles, providing companionship, friendship and support across our charity. One amazing way that our volunteers make a difference is by Befriending  - becoming a regular companion and visitor to a patient, who may not have contact with family or friends or receive any external visitors at all.

Recently, we welcomed Mark Francis to our Befriender team – our first Befriender at our Birmingham site – and we’re pleased to say his first session went really well!

Mark explained: “After working at St Andrew’s for a short time and building a connection with some of the patients and staff there, I was very sad to leave.

"I personally did not want to lose contact with the patients and staff on Hazelwell and Hurst wards, and I felt I could still do a lot more for them - which is why I decided to become a volunteer.

"Patients at St Andrew’s benefit from seeing a friendly face every now and again; a visit from a befriender will brighten their day and speed up their recovery.” 

Dawn Wright, Voluntary Services Manager explained:  “After the initial meeting two weeks ago, our volunteer, Mark, had his department induction and his first session with a patient on Hazelwell ward, which went really well. 

"As soon as we both walked in, the patient ran from across the room to give Mark a massive hug and then burst into tears with excitement of the visit starting. It was really lovely to see and they enjoyed over an hour together, playing pool and chatting.”

If you are interested in joining our fantastic team of volunteers, or if you are part of an organisation who would like to volunteer with us, please get in touch by calling 01604 616212 or visit our volunteering page.

Posted on Feb 14 2018 by Bobbie Kelly