2 November 2020
Keith Wallace is a volunteer befriender with Seescape. He and his befriendee, Jemima, have been getting together for regular chats for some time. He tells us about his experience.
I got involved in volunteering with seescape after my own personal experience. I lost an eye when I was young, and seescape, was on hand to help both myself and my family. Later in life, I lost a percentage of sight in my good eye, again seescape was on hand and helped again.
A member of the seescape staff team visited and changed my outlook on life. They were able to help me with simple activities like training on safe working procedures in the home, particularly the kitchen, walking with a marker cane to give me space and safety when outside, the best way to cross the road and other simple everyday things, like avoiding bumping into things!
After all the help and support I had received I felt I could put my experience and time to good use by helping others, so I applied to become a seescape volunteer. I was told of all the volunteering opportunities available and felt my skills would be best suited to Befriending. I attended all the training required which I found really interesting and worthwhile.
Kirstie, the Community Engagement Coordinator felt I would be a good match fora lady living in a care home in Glenrothes. I met me new friend (I call her a friend as that is what she has become) and we hit it off from the start. We now meet fortnightly at the care home. We talk about so many varied topics and our time together passes so quickly, the best part of my volunteering is every visit is different and enjoyable. The worst thing to me is arranging a visit and having to call it off because you cannot make it, that feels horrible.
I get a great deal from my visits; my lady is a great believer in speaking her mind and enjoys topics of conversation as varied as politics, music, and local news. I am constantly updated on the behaviour of her Alexa and we both call her a stroppy teenager which makes us laugh.
During Coronavirus pandemic we are now keeping in touch via email, so I provide a note on what I’ve been up to and she lets me know how she is getting on…we both like history so I’m looking into accessibility of a course we could do jointly to chat about.
The enjoyment my Befriending volunteering has given me has been immense, I can thoroughly recommend if you have some time to give and like to chat – this is the role for you.