Befriending: William’s Experience

William was paired with a befriender by Glasgow’s Golden Generation befriending team almost a year ago.

 

William has autism and had struggled accessing suitable support in the past, before he came to GGG.

 

“I felt left out in the rain by other organisations; I didn’t have anybody, I lived by myself, and it was a bit lonely”.

 

When William first contacted GGG, Befriending Coordinator Lorraine did not have an immediate match, but stayed in touch with William to continue supporting him.

 

Not long after William’s enquiry, a suitable match got in touch so William was paired with a Befriender.

 

William said,

 

“It is good because having a conversation with someone who you’ve got things in common with is a comfortable conversation, you know they are interested as well”.

 

 “My befriender knows where I’m coming from with regards to my Asperger syndrome. It’s better than speaking to somebody that knows nothing about it because I don’t have to do an awful lot of explaining, there is empathy there, she can understand where I’m coming from”, continues William, explaining the experience has been positive for him.

 

William experience with Befriending has impacted his everyday life,

 

“It has helped me a lot, even if it’s over the phone, it doesn’t really matter, the day doesn’t seem monotonous, it brightens your day.”

 

“It has motivated me to get up and do something rather than sitting alone.

 

“I’m quite a nervous person, but now I have the motivation to do things I wouldn’t normally do.”

 

“All these security cameras and CCTV in shops and things used to be really quite frightening for me, she has given me more confidence to do it and then I find it is not as bad as I thought.”

 

Despite becoming friends over the phone, they have become good companions.

 

“I’ve never actually met my befriender, I don’t know what she looks like, and she doesn’t know what I look like but even over the phone you’re able to have a good conversation, a friendly chat, we talk about whatever,” William says.

 

“I’m looking forward to meeting her but I feel like I know her already.”

 

William is just one of almost 100 older adults supported by Glasgow’s Golden Generation’s Befriending Service. The charity has a team of highly trained volunteer befrienders who support older adults across Glasgow.

 

Wherever in the city you live, if you have just a few hours a week to spare, you can make a real difference to older adults in your community. To find out more visit Befriending | Glasgow’s Golden Generation (glasgowgg.org.uk).