The ECA Befriending Service
The ECA set up a befriending Service in April 2019 to January 2020. The service was supported by a grant from Enfield Small Projects Fund. The befriending programme offered a service primarily to elderly Caribbean residents of Enfield and to people who were identified as having particular needs, usually involving social isolation, often within a specific geographical location
We offered Face-to-face befriending which is the most common kind of befriending and involved matching of volunteer befrienders from the local community with a befriendee. Befrienders met befriendees in their home and for one or two hours a week.
The ECA befriending service has the primary aim of enhancing the quality of a befriendee’s life by offering them the opportunity to form a trusting relationship. More specifically, services often aim to enable their befriendees to become less socially isolated and develop their self-confidence and emotional growth.
The service was very successful, Befriendees felt supported by someone who they considered reliable and some pairs went on to form firm friendships many of the befrienders and befriendees have continued to communicate by telephone. We are hoping to continue the service later in the year pending funding and once it is deemed safe to do so.