"I’m 9 years sober now and want to give something back."

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“I’m 9 years sober now and want to give something back”

Maria is one of our befriender volunteers for Framework. A befriender is someone that supports those that access Frameworks services in going shopping, making appointments as well as providing that all important social contact.

Maria has been a befriender for 6 years, starting in 2016, and has continued to volunteer through the difficult COVID19 pandemic.

“I started volunteering with Framework after I stopped volunteering at another charity. Shortly after they got in touch and asked if I was still interested—it was really well timed!”

“It was suggested that I should volunteer by my therapist. Back in 2006 I lost my daughter and began to spiral, I fell into drugs and alcohol which consumed my life for 7 years. I’m 9 years sober now and want to give something back.”

“I have had similar experiences to some of the people Framework works with and feel that I can use this to help and empathise, and I’m driven to this because I feel that we’re here to be kind and help others, and that’s what I want to do”

“I continued to volunteer over the pandemic, though it wasn’t easy. The in-person befriending had to move to over the phone to help stop the spread, but I felt that I lost some of that personal connection with the people I befriend, and I wasn’t able to read their body language which can be really important. I felt my mental health get worse over this time, but I do feel continuing with my volunteering helped—though I would have preferred it in person”

“I hope that for my next steps I can learn more about the service I volunteer for; following someone from when they start with Framework through to when they leave.”

“I feel volunteering serves a purpose for me, as well as for the people I support”