As part of volunteer week, Befriending Lewis yesterday (Thursday) welcomed their volunteers to the Stornoway Golf Club for a day of brainstorming and future planning.

Befriending Lewis falls under the control of Volunteer Hebrides and works in partnership with a number of other voluntary organisations. There are currently 80 active befrienders working with a wide range of individuals across Lewis.

Following a short presentation from Befriending Lewis Coordinators the volunteers were split into working groups to carry out activities and discuss future projects.

Events such as this are put on to allow the volunteers (befrienders) to meet each other and discuss ideas for where the organisation can go in the future. A previous event of this type saw the creation of a new role with in Befriending Lewis, creative coordinator, upon the suggestion of volunteers.

Befriending Lewis also took this opportunity to reveal to their volunteers a commendation of Excellence in Befriending awarded by Befriending Networks. This award is given to Befriending Organisations to offer recognition of their work carried out with in local communities.

The services offered by Befriending Lewis fall into 3 distinct categories. Traditional face to face befriending, phone calls and activity based sessions such as accompanying people to the gym.

Working alongside Befriending Lewis, Embark volunteers run a number of activities taking people on cycles, walks and even coastal rows. A number of such volunteers were in attendance at yesterday’s event.

A pilot scheme is currently under way with the hopes of establishing a number of Befriending Volunteers in Harris.

Befrienders were asked to right on pieces of card in the shape of feathers what their personal experience with Befriending Lewis had meant to them. These feathers were displayed in the Golf Club to form ‘Befriending Wings’ (pictured).

Befriending Lewis is always looking for more volunteers and more information on how to sign up is available on their website at.  http://befriendinglewis.org.uk/