Read some of our volunteer stories to get a better idea of the positive impacts befriending and volunteering can offer to those involved.
One of our volunteers Joanne wrote a brilliant article for Marie Claire which appeared online recently – read the article here >
Kelly & Tina
Kelly has been a member of the Dorcas project now for about three and a half years, befriending Tina. They enjoy chats over tea and visiting the local pub for dinner, and they are planning to go on a day trip to Paris within the next year. This photo was taken when they went to see the musical Wicked last year.
Patrick & Alfie
Patrick joined the Dorcas Project in June 2011 and was soon paired up with Alfie, an elderly gentleman in his eighties who resides in a nursing home in Islington. Alfie suffered a stroke a few years ago, and has become less mobile over time. Patrick visits Alfie on a weekly basis after work, and they spend most of the time catching up with each other on the week’s events. This may involve a conversation over family or football. Given that Alfie has a sweet tooth, biscuits usually make their way into the conversation.
Allie & Maud
Allie has been visiting Maud since her first year at university at UCL in 2007, where
she learned about the Dorcas Project from Herve at the Volunteering Fair. Allie and Maud enjoy long chats over tea and some sort of sweet or biscuit. Maud has never lost her sweet tooth and is open to new experiences, even at age 99. She recently tried a big American-style chocolate chip cookie for the first time and liked it!
Sarah & Martha
Sarah G has been part of the Dorcas Befriending Project for many years now after replying to an advert in a local Islington newspaper. She was inspired to get involved after visiting her Gran in hospital and noticing that many of the other patients unfortunately had no one to visit them.
Sarah has had two main clients over this time & most recently has been matched for four years with 99 year old Martha. They have become firm friends and although their activities are mostly house-bound, they spend lots of fun time together writing letters, gardening and gossiping over cups of tea. Sarah feels honoured to be part of Martha’s life and loves that she can help her out with simple things that mean a great deal.
Amy & Ethel
Amy has been involved with the Dorcas Befriending Project since she moved to London from New York in 2008. After discovering the DBP at the volunteer fair at University College London where she earned her Masters in Art History, Amy was matched with 101 year old Ethel, with whom she shares a mutual love of knitting, crosswords and strong coffee. She is currently the acting Secretary of the DBP Executive Committee.
Rick, Graham & Lillian
Rick helps his blind and partially-sighted clients, now friends, with their internet research on music, broadcasting, films and reading, which they have discovered are shared interests. They have attended the odd rock and roll gig together and he often escorts them on shopping trips and visits to the barber and shops. They invariably round off his Sunday afternoon visits with mugs of tea and bacon butties which he helps prepare for them. He is heartened and inspired by their refusal to let visual impairment and limited mobility hinder them in the pursuit of their many interests and in living a full and rich life at home and outside.
Sarah & George
Sarah B has been involved with Dorcas for more than 7 years. She spent many happy years befriending George, a real gentle man. The pair spent most sundays visiting Chapel Market, having lunch, chatting and watching the world go by. George sadly died a few years ago and is greatly missed. Sarah has since befriended a lady who George introduced her too, because he was worried about her well-being. Sarah also runs an art & social group in the sheltered accomodation where George lived.