Sutton Befrienders: Pat and Elisabete

Volunteering as a Sutton Befriender helped Elisabete recuperate from her own mental health problems, as well as helping Pat to regain her confidence.

Pat was referred to Sutton Befrienders in late 2022 by Sutton Social Services. Described as funny and caring by her carers, Pat, who is in her early 80s, had lost confidence in getting out. Concerned staying at home all day was making her more “senile”, she told her Social Worker she needed “a boot up my rear quarters!”

One activity Pat particularly missed was bingo. Anxious about attending on her own, her volunteer befriender, Elisabete, accompanied her on her first few visits to the local Carshalton Joan and Darby Club. This is how Elisabete recounted their first outing:

Sutton Befrienders Pat and Elisabete square“It was a relaxing and fun experience; Pat smiled and joked a lot. We had lovely conversation during the car ride too and it was great to learn more about her life!” Elisabete, Sutton Befrienders volunteer

Now Pat has been introduced to the bingo by Elisabete, her carers are supporting her to start travelling to bingo independently with Dial a Ride. However, Pat is still enjoying Elisabete’s company and the opportunity to get out and about with her. Both lovers of nature, they have been to several local parks, something Pat hasn’t had the opportunity to do in years. A recent highlight was a walk in Beddington Park and sausage and chips for lunch.

Elisabete, who has taken up volunteering to support her recuperation from mental health problems, told us:

“I'm very glad to have joined you. I’m really loving this experience; it makes me happy to contribute something good for the community and I wish that in the future I'll be able to do so in a bigger scale.” Elisabete, Sutton Befrienders volunteer

She’s sure the befriending is helping her as much as it is Pat.

Interested in volunteering with Sutton Befrienders? Please give us your details here and one of the team will be in touch soon.