Friends United

Publish Date: 17/10/2011

Isolation and loneliness can affect any of us throughout our life; friendships and relationships change and evolve and it’s not uncommon to find ourselves alone for a period of time.

Life on the commercial gay scene isn’t always one long party with endless networks of like minded friends. Maybe you don’t identify with the gay scene or feel it doesn’t meet your needs? Perhaps you feel you want something different or an alternative to bars and clubs. Or maybe you are new to the city?

Being gay isn’t just about going out at the weekend or having fun, we know there is a whole other world behind the public face of gay life and not everyone identifies with this which can increase isolation and a feeling of being left behind.

Many people have a whole range of interests which they’d like to explore but feel they don’t have the support of friends to do this.

With the befriending programme we would work with an individual to develop a programme of activities and outings to begin to address and change isolation.

Just having someone there for a period of time can give someone a confidence boost to start re-building support networks and re-establish a connection with the world around them.

Not everyone coming out of the closet has an existing group of friends with which to begin their life as a gay person. The befriending programme is ideal for someone who has recently ‘come out’ which in itself can be a happy event but also a lonely time.

Just having someone there who can provide gay affirmative support, someone to reassure you that life can be positive and you can carry on is an important thing.

People who have participated in the programme have been matched with a volunteer to take part in day time activities such as museums, galleries or even meet up for coffee and a chat.

We work towards supporting each person on an individual basis and ensure that each ten week programme is collaboration of shared interests and not a rigid timetable of activities.

Flexibility can vary according to the availability of volunteers but we strive to make allowances and plan for when activities begin or if new opportunities arise.

We cannot always guarantee an age match for each applicant but we can promise each volunteer will provide an individually tailored programme of support to match the interests of each person.

There’s no need to be alone or continue feeling like you have nowhere to turn or no-one to speak to, the support available via the befriending programme can be the first step to a whole new look at life.

If you feel you would benefit from the befriending programme you can apply by contacting lucy.rolfe@lgf.org.uk or call 0845 330 30 30.