News Volunteer Interview: Fiona “The impact that a few hours a month from me can have on my little friend is amazing. The idea that she has something to look forward to helps keep her motivated and builds up excitement for every trip.” We caught up with volunteer, Fiona, who was matched with her 10-year-old befriendee at the end of 2022. Read more about what her experience has been like so far... What have you and your befriendee done together since you started your befriending journey? Because I only started befriending in October 2022, everything was weather permitting. The week I came home from 27-degree heat in Cyprus, my befriendee and I managed to take a trip to Aberdeen Beach, where we kicked off our socks and shoes, rolled up our trousers and paddled in the cold North Sea. We ran in and out of the sea having races! After that, we ate ice cream and drew pictures in the sand. The first one my befriendee did was a big heart with both our initials in it, and she did this totally unprompted. We have also been to Hazelhead Park Petting Zoo, which was a big hit! She loved the experience of looking at and petting the animals. While at the park, we had a picnic, went on the swings, played frisbee and even took a ride on a scooter (with me on the back!). My befriendee conjured up names for every single animal, which was a sweet moment. One of our more recent excursions involved arts and crafts - we found a cafe and decorated a little memory box I gave her on week one. We collect something from every trip to put in the box, which so far includes a shell from the beach and a peacock feather from the petting farm. What is your favourite thing, so far, about being a befriender? My favourite thing so far is giving the child I support experiences that she's never had and seeing the joy, excitement and satisfaction on her face. Earning her trust in me is really important. The impact that a few hours a month from me can have on my little friend is amazing. The idea that she has something to look forward to helps keep her motivated and builds up excitement for every trip. I also get to be a big kid again - laughing, letting inhibitions go and just allowing myself to have so much fun. It's really lovely when my befriendee remembers and recalls the memorable moments of our previous outings and wants to return to experience them again. Being a befriender is an extremely humbling experience that I intend to continue for a long time. If, like Fiona, you would like to positively impact the life of a local child by becoming a volunteer befriender or mentor, take a look at the 'Volunteering' section of our website or email [email protected].