I had just finished my first degree and was unsure what field of work I wanted to go into and knew I needed more experience. In addition to this however, I wanted to expand my horizons. Travelling wasn’t a practical or affordable option for me at the time, so I hoped that Home link could provide me with the opportunity to see a different side to life here in Edinburgh.
I was matched with a young girl who had just had a baby boy with complex and severe health and learning difficulties. A range of professionals were involved in the care of her son, but she had little support of her own. So we'd meet most weeks for about 2 hours. Sometimes I’d go in for coffee, sometimes we went out, and we’d chat. Sometimes we would talk about her son, sometimes about herself, sometimes about the other issues going on in her family. Sometimes we’d talk about shoes.
I’ve gained a lot from my befriending experience. Mostly, I’ve developed the ability to just listen. My natural urge is always to try and make a plan and try to fix or make things better. I’ve learnt that that isn’t always the case and that sometimes people just want you to listen.