My volunteering story – Rea

Rea has volunteered as a befriender for over a year, despite never actually meeting her customer, Margaret.

  • Date: 01/06/2021

Rea first heard of Revival through a friend, who was already volunteering as a befriender. Her job with the fire service also meant visiting a lot of people’s homes and seeing how lonely many were. After speaking with her friend, she decided to contact our team.

One year, and a global pandemic later, Rea is still volunteering – but has never actually met her customer, Margaret!

She told us: “I’ve been talking to Margaret once a week since we got paired up. It's all been on the phone, so at the moment we’ve just got this image of how each other look.”

Over the year the two of them have spoken about everything from food and family to crime scene dramas on the TV: “She's very opinionated which is great. I love that she's always got something to say and she's really curious about what I do as well.”

Rea is also a full-time psychology and counselling student. She says having that time away from the course has really helped her too: “It's nice just to talk to somebody that isn't involved in work or uni.

“I guess that half an hour or hour out of my day - it's actually quite a nice relief just to talk to somebody that has no expectations of you, who just wants to have a little chat.

“I think it's really rewarding. It doesn't take a lot of your time and it really makes a difference. If more of us can take an hour out of our day once a week to make somebody smile, I think that's really important.”

With the COVID restrictions easing the two of them hope to meet up for a cup of tea together: “I think in-person is really important right now and especially with everything that's been going on over the last 12 to 18 months. I'm looking forward to actually visiting her rather than just sitting on the end of a telephone.

"When I mentioned meeting up to Margaret the other day, she was like “oh my god, that'd be so lovely and actually see you face to face”. So hopefully we can do that soon.”