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March Befriending story: Laura & Janet

Older neighbour Janet and befriender Laura connected through b:friend almost 18 months ago.

Janet used to be very active, with a busy social life. She was a keen walker in her free time and always valued her independence.

As her mobility reduced and the pandemic slowed life down, she started to spend more time at home alone. Although she had a supportive family, her friends lived away and could only stay in touch over the phone, which made her feel isolated.

When she first heard about befriending, Janet was apprehensive as she wasn’t sure if it was for her. Meeting Laura quickly changed this.

“It’s been smashing, Laura is lovely, Janet said. “I find it works two ways, we chat about local history that she finds interesting, as she is not from around here. It is surprising, but we actually both benefit from the chats, and it makes me feel better that I can contribute.

“I know I’ve got family and some friends, but they are all older. She is outside of that circle and brings a different perspective. She is like a bit of fresh air. 

“Laura is a proper friend now. We have a good conflab about everything; it’s lovely.”

Laura said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the time I have spent getting to know Janet! We have lots of the same interests and I have definitely learned a lot about baking, walking, and the city.

“It has been particularly fascinating to hear about her experiences living in the area for a number of years and better understand the history of where I now live. She has been able to recommend new places to eat that I would never have known about without her!

“It is a lovely part of my day when I get to spend time visiting Janet, and I always leave with a smile. I would recommend befriending to anyone.”