Kelly’s Befriending Story

Kelly has been a Volunteer Befriender with the Sycamore Residential Services in Fife for almost 5 years.

“I decided to become a Volunteer Befriender after attending a local volunteers networking event. I heard first-hand from Befrienders on their experiences of being a Befriender and I got to meet a few young people who explained to me the impact Befrienders had on their lives – and most importantly, the fun and happiness this brought to their lives.”

Kelly was matched as a Befriender for a 10 year old boy. Kelly and her Befriendee have had lots of fun together over the years. They’ve built a positive and supportive relationship based on sharing enjoyable experiences and trying new things together.

“We have done so many fun things together – karting, starbucks, swimming, dog walks, climbing, meals, bowling, and ice skating to name a few! I even beat him at karting on our first race! I have genuinely enjoyed everything that the befriending role has to offer.  I’ve enjoyed being a part of a young person’s life, seeing him grow, mature, progress in his education and hobbies and generally loved spending time with him.”

“Because our befriending relationship has gone on over a long period of time, I’ve enjoyed seeing this young person mature from a cute wee 10 year old boy into a handsome maturing young man. I have enjoyed seeing the fun I have brought to his life and getting to know others within the residential house – the kids and the staff.”

“I’m really proud of our long-term befriending relationship. I really do believe through our conversations, banter and fun that I have been able to have really meaningful conversations which have directly impacted on his life and outcomes but in a really informal and non-stigmatising way. We have grown to be friends and he often says how he really enjoys spending time with me and having fun.”

For Kelly, volunteering with Aberlour has been a positive experience for both her Befriendee and for herself.

“For me, befriending is being there for someone consistently to bring the best out in that person.  I initially did this to support my young person (with care experience) to have a friend out with the services or systems they often have to experience but the happiness it has brought for me has surprised me and it’s something I think I will always be involved in – one way or another.”

“I would 100% recommend befriending to others. Not only does it let you get involved in supporting young people with care experience, it brings so much more than that. Becoming a befriender is easy and the support I have from Aberlour has been great over my 5 years here.”