You may not be aware that Saturday the 11th of February 2017 is actually National “Make a Friend Day”.
Many of you reading this now probably already have “many” friends but for most of our Citizen Partners, unfortunately this is not the case. In fact, some do not even have any family. The only people that may be present in their lives could be their Social Worker or GP, if they have one – whereas you and I may have friends, family, neighbours, a hairdresser, a GP, acquaintances from a gym class, even the people who serve us in the local newsagents….. these are all people in our social circle which we often don’t realise.
Now, there are many definitions out there of what a “friend” is, for example: –
-A person with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically one exclusive of sexual or family relations.
-An acquaintance or a stranger one comes across.
-A person you know well and regard with affection and trust.
For our Citizen Advocates, a “friend” can be defined even further, for example: –
-A person who supports a cause, organisation, or country by giving financial or other help
-An associate who provides cooperation or assistance
-To act as a friend to, to befriend; to be friendly to, to help
Our Citizen Partnerships (Advocate and Partner) are built on trust and friendship and are ever so rewarding. Do you feel that you would like to give something back to the community and #makeafriend by becoming a Citizen Advocate, complete the training programme and then be matched with a vulnerable adult? Can you be that one “friend” to be relied upon for friendship and support who can also provide your citizen partner with a voice to be heard, when no-one else will? Do you feel strongly about #humanrights and #equality and want to do your bit for the community, again by supporting a vulnerable adult? We have both short-term and long-term options, could you commit?
If you answered “Yes” to one or more of these questions then volunteering to become a #citizenadvocate could be for you!
Contact us for an informal chat on 01383 624382 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org – we look forward to hearing from you!
Still unsure? Why not watch the following short video about one of our current Citizen Partnerships and listen as they both tell us how they benefit from their #citizenadvocacy partnership!
By Patricia Smith