Here are a few extracts from my address at the Praxis Care Volunteer Thank You Event held last night at the Glenavon House Hotel, Cookstown, NI.
“If I had had a befriender, a volunteer to meet with for a coffee and a chat, this would have become the highlight of my week. And maybe this is true for some of you Praxis Care members? For me, anticipation would have been building all week – waiting to meet my volunteer and having the pleasure of going out with a purpose and coming home feeling good because of the enjoyment of a meaningful relationship and a satisfying interaction. What a feeling of self-worth, self-respect, self-esteem I would have had because someone was willingly, freely giving of themselves to meet me. And I would have looked forward to the next encounter with much hope!
Using listening skills, perhaps personal experience, empathy, warmth, love and understanding Praxis Care befrienders and volunteers offer help and support through friendship. The confident, caring Volunteer brings hope and hope can spark recovery. Recovery is, I suggest, wellness – living with illness.
One volunteer is worth a hundred conscripts. The quality, passion and committment of the Praxis Care volunteers and befrienders and their routine, consistency and selfless giving adds immensely to the Praxis Care members’ quality of living.”
Praxis Care befrienders and volunteers give of time, of skills of energy. At last night’s Praxis Care Volunteers Thank You Event 2014 feedback was that Praxis Care members are encouraged socially, emotionally and psychologically through social support.
I think it fair to say that a good evening was had by all. And well done Winnie – 25 years as a Praxis Care Volunteer!