We have launched our Counselling and Befriending service following suggestions from members at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in 2020.
The Befriending Service is staffed by volunteers and offers people living with disability and long term conditions a listening ear and someone to chat to, to help reduce social isolation and improve mental health.
The service will also be able to refer people to a qualified counsellor where needed.
Our own research suggests that although over 70% of people we asked had problems or worries they wanted to talk to someone about in the past year, only 30% were able to find someone to talk to. We also know that people living with a disability or long-term condition, and their families, have been hit particularly hard by the effects of the pandemic.
Lynne Turnbull, our Chief Executive Officer, said:
‘I’m really pleased that we have been able to take an idea from our members and develop it into a service which will be so beneficial to people who may just need someone to talk to, or a bit of extra support with their mental health. The feedback from our members was so valuable, as when we did our own research, 90% of people who responded said they would use the service.’
Volunteers will benefit from role specific training and the chance to make a real difference to peoples’ lives. If you are interested in volunteering for this role please follow this link, or if you would like to access the befriending service, please watch for updates on our website and social media.
To become a member of Disability Positive and have an opportunity to contribute to new ideas and services improvements like this, please go to www.disabilitypositive.org/membership.