“Having recovered from an eating disorder, I now want to give something back. I want to support a person in their journey, a journey that is often long and isolating with many set-backs along the way and give them hope and encouragement.”
If you are interested in becoming a befriender please click here for our Guide to Befriending where you will be able to read about the service and find application forms.
Our team of regional befrienders offers support to anyone who is suffering with an eating disorder. Our befrienders all have personal experience of eating disorders and who have seen recovery. People who ask for a befriender are usually linked with someone who has a similar experience to their own. This is a befriending service, rather than counselling support, and is limited to telephone conversations.
Our befrienders must be 21 years and above and have recovered with a further two years of sustained recovery . They are often people ABC has helped in the past, when they were struggling their own eating disorder, and who have now seen recovery and wish to ‘give back’. They all have a tremendous ‘heart’ for others in this situation and wish to help them through. Sometimes people volunteer having seen our website or hearing ABC giving a radio interview, or seeing us at a conference or event. We give talks to schools, colleges and universities, and ask all our volunteers to give our literature to their local education establishments, local NHS CAMHS, Adult eating disorder service etc. We need people to hear about the service and recognise that this may be an area where their own experiences can be of help to others.
Could you support a person struggling and help guide them towards recovery?
Training for New Befrienders
The dates and venues for our two-part training for Befrienders are currently on hold due to the COVID-19 situation.
You can still email the Befriending Co-ordinator to register your interest for the future at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Befrienders Are
Sufficiently far along their own journey to be able to reach out to others, making them feel at ease and ‘safe’. We recognise that because of ongoing and changing needs befrienders themselves may experience times when they are not able to offer the support required, and must feel free to say when they are not in a position to take on a client
Open, honest and real – people others can relate to
Articulate, with a good telephone manner and able to communicate in a warm and welcoming way
Able to show evidence of genuine trust and hope for the future
Good listeners and encourage people to share; it is more important to hear their story than to share your own, and not to try to hurry them onto the next stage of their journey
Committed to attending regular training and networking events for ABC Befrienders and to developing their befriending support skills when required
THE DIFFERENCE YOU COULD MAKE
"Knowing someone is there for me and understands what I'm feeling, is support like none other. I've made such progress in my journey to recovery that I would never have been able to make without my Befriender."