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Good Friends

Good Friends Report for Annual Parish Meeting 2024

Good Friends is the Befriending arm of the ‘Clun Valley Good Neighbours’ stable, and as such, received the King’s Award for Voluntary Service recently. We are grateful for the overarching organisation of Good Friends with whom we share policies and insurance, and the services of Shropshire Partners in Care for our police checks. We must offer thanks as well for the work of GN Treasurer who administers our finances for travel expenses and training.

There are 11 current active Good Friends (GF), who are visiting 7 clients: 5 in the Clun Valley, one in the Redlake Valley and one person who is now in a home in Ludlow but still values monthly visits there. We generally offer one visit a week, of about an hour, either in a client’s home or, sometimes, going out to a neutral venue, such as a cafe. All volunteers receive initial training, regular supervision and update training as a group; the coordinator makes initial assessments of referrals and is also involved when situations are complex or worrying, working with the GF visitors. Generally the model is for two GF to link with each client but availability of visitors and personal circumstances and preferences sometimes make this difficult and we try to be flexible in providing the service. Recently an informal audit was undertaken and all the families visited (including some of the clients themselves) spoke warmly of the positive effects of having a regular visitor from the service.

The clients of the service are usually elderly and many have a degree of memory loss – for some, this is extensive. Most have stopped driving and value a visitor who listens and who is visiting just for them. The friendships forged through Good Friends often last for many years. We would welcome more visitors, both men and women, joining the service.

We are grateful for a recent generous donation to the service from a member of the Clun Valley community.

Mary Eminson :  

01588 640921

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