Befriending and Volunteering

December 7, 2017

I often talk to people who are interested in working in the community in some way, perhaps volunteering with the elderly or young people or with homeless organisations.

Volunteering can be an incredibly powerful way to help improve your own confidence, self-esteem and feelings of worth. You can clearly see the impact your time and effort makes with the people or organisation you work with.

Here are a few links to help you make a choice about where you might provide assistance or time. Some of these are specifically aimed at people living in and around Brighton & Hove. I have included more general UK links at the end. Please feel free to contribute other suggestions in the comments.

Befriending an elderly person in Brighton and Hove

“For many older people loneliness is an unwelcome feeling of loss. The fear of loneliness alone is said to cause more anxiety than a lack of money or deteriorating health. In fact, loneliness is proven to cause early loss of life which is why services like ours are needed to help elders to feel connected with their community, with volunteer befrienders and each-other.” ( www.tttb.org.uk).

Contact Time to Talk to discuss ways you can help.
Time to Talk Befriending – Hove Tel: 01273 737710          http://www.tttb.org.uk/
email info@timetotalkbefriending.org.uk

Volunteering and befriending vulnerable adults across Brighton and Hove.

Brighton and Hove Impetus are an independent organisation delivering a range of services aimed at improving the wellbeing and quality of life of vulnerable adults across the City. They support people with learning disabilities, people with mental health issues, older people, people with physical disabilities and people with autistic spectrum conditions.

Volunteer roles include: Home visitor, volunteer drivers, phone support – further information can be found on the BH Impetus website http://www.bh-impetus.org/

Brighton and Hove Befriending Coalition “a group of organisations that provide befriending services to a wide range of people at risk of isolation and loneliness in the city” http://www.bhbefriending.org/
Call 01273 229005       email contact@bhbefriending.org

Volunteering with organisations working with homeless people

The Clock Tower Sanctuary provides a friendly, bright, centrally-located, safe space for homeless young people to engage with their peers. t: 01273 722 353

Details on how to volunteer with CTS here

BH Community Works has a volunteering search platform for local volunteering opportunities in Brighton and Hove.

UK wide links:

vinspired is the UK’s leading volunteering charity for 14 – 25 year olds. vinspired helps young people to make their mark on causes that they care about, whilst learning new skills and talents along the way. vinspired recognises that volunteering can help young people thrive, and transform the communities they live in. It teaches them vital skills, like teamwork and problem-solving. It prepares them for their future.” (https://vinspired.com/ )

Age UK – https://www.ageuk.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/

 

Do ithttps://do-it.org/

Coping with Christmas

December 21, 2016

How do you feel about the holiday period coming up?

ball-65825_1280Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, this time of year is often difficult for many people. Many people suffer with depression over a prolonged holiday period. Some people find themselves alone for much longer, businesses are often closed, leaving people without regular places to be. Preparing for the time on one’s own can be anxiety making and difficult for those who may already be lonely at times.

 


Why do some people find themselves depressed during the holiday time?

blur-1867322_1280For some, there is simply so much to do, relatives arriving, gifts to purchase, house to clean and not enough time. Stress can make the preparations harder. For others, it might be the opposite and anticipating the empty days over the holidays can be distressing.

xmas-660694_1280It is sometimes difficult to not compare our lives with others. It might look like people are having happy, amazing times, when we are not so full of joy. Television and social media bombard us with images showing families celebrating together with happy smiling faces. This can severely affect self-esteem and confidence – are we good enough?

We might look back on previous years when times were different, grieve and mull over difficult times in our lives. Having extra time on our hands provides opportunities for rumination and thinking about what is not going right in our lives.

Loneliness can be terribly hard at Christmas. Spending time alone over the few days when other people are apparently with family and friends, can feel very isolating. Even when surrounded by people, this feeling of loneliness can be much worse than normal if the connection with the people with you isn’t strong.

 


How can you help look after yourself?

winter-575101_1280Be aware of how you are feeling. Try to consider ways you can help yourself – exercise, eating well, drinking alcohol wisely rather than to excess. Don’t let go of your normal routine, continue to exercise or do extra if you don’t regularly exercise. Self-care is important. Try to avoid slumping in front of the television and get outside – even just for a walk.
If you do have people around you and can talk about how you are feeling, give it a go – people can sometimes surprise us by being supportive, empathising or just listening. Sometimes people push our buttons over the holiday -we might be spending much more time with people we wouldn’t normally or old family feuds resurface. Taking a step back might be the best option, rather than responding with anger.

reading-1246520_1280Find a good book to get engrossed in instead of getting involved in the disagreements.

 

 

Mindfulness

ice-846733_1280Whether you have tried mindfulness or meditation before or not, it might be a good time to start. Is there five or ten minutes where you could find some quiet time just for yourself? Focus on your breath and sit quietly for a few minutes. Don’t worry if you can hear noise or can’t concentrate for very long. A few minutes time out may help you manage your stress levels.

However you spend your time, look after yourself as best you can.


If you feel you need help or would like to talk to a counsellor about feelings of loneliness or anything else contact Insight Counselling at info@insightcounsellingbrighton.co.uk or use the Contact Page.