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Volunteer stories: Bernard

/media/getinvolved/library/peter-and-bernard-cropped.jpgBernard volunteers as a befriender at St Vincent’s House, a block of independent living apartments in Coleshill.

Each week he spends three hours with a tenant, P, keeping him company and doing the things P likes doing. Sometimes they simply watch a film together or go for a walk, or they might go to a local café or plan for special occasions like birthdays. He also helps P with his job, managing the recycling at St Joseph’s Residential Care Home.

Bernard acknowledges that it takes patience and time to befriend someone and build a meaningful relationship. Befriending volunteers must adjust their approach and behaviour based on the needs of the person they are befriending. This means being flexible, consistent, passionate and caring, as well as having perseverance in order to meet the demands of the role.

Befriending does not happen overnight; it takes time and effort to build trust and rapport, especially with people with additional needs.

/media/getinvolved/library/img_7229-jan-18---bernard-5.jpgBernard also spends some time volunteering at St Joseph's residential home, Coleshill, as a driver and on an ad-hoc basis with New Routes Fostering. But it is with P that he spends the majority of his time. 

Since volunteering, Bernard has noticed the positive impact of his voluntary work. “P knows when to expect me and looks forward to spending time with me. I’ve personally grown in confidence as I know the work better, have got to know the staff and now feel part of a team. I feel that what I do matters.”

Bernard’s contribution really does matter and, on behalf of those we support, Father Hudson’s Care is ever so grateful.

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