Radio Forth is revisiting their ‘Take The Time’ campaign celebrating Befriending Week as they continue their work to combat loneliness across Scotland.
‘Take the Time’, in association with The Befriending Networks, has garnered support from over 1200 people across Scotland who have signed up to become a befriender and the charity have hired another employee to deal with demand generated by the project.
Since inception in February 2018, ‘Take the Time’ has investigated the issue of loneliness across Scotland. Showcasing their experiences on air, the station has highlighted to listeners the extent of the problem across the country, calling for volunteers to be a part of the solution by signing up to become a befriender.
John Dickson (79) and Shelley O’Reilly (35) from Edinburgh have been brought together through the scheme. Shelly was alerted to the campaign through listening to Radio Forth and was paired with widower John through the charity Cyrenians in June.
John Dickson, beneficiary of Take the Time, on their pairing said: “It is something to look forward to, it’s just good to have company. I never realised how many people are on their own until my wife died. As soon as we got together we felt quite comfortable. We never stop talking, I probably talk too much!”
Shelley O’Reilly, John’s befriender added: “We clicked right away, we got on really well. It was a perfect match for us. We meet up once or twice a week, we chat, we go for dinner or meet up for a coffee. We’ve also been on a nice drive to Peebles, that was fun. We chat about everything, from politics to Love Island!”