Befriending During Lockdown (part 1)

We are pleased to share the first of three blog posts highlighting friendships that have been formed through lockdown on the Sherburn Road Friends and Neighbours befriending scheme. The befriending scheme was established by the Achor Community in 2014, and supports those experiencing loneliness and social isolation in the Sherburn Road and Gilesgate areas of Durham. During the coronavirus we have also been providing shopping support, food parcels, fortnightly letters and activity packs to everyone we support.

The stories highlighted in the blog have been kindly written up for us by Adrienne Hunter from the Gilesgate Residents Association.

Sharon needed no persuading when she was asked if she’d like to be involved in a telephone chatting project during lockdown – because she already knows how rewarding they can be.

“I’ve chatted to two students over the past couple of years, and even though they’ve moved away they still call me – I say they’re my adopted granddaughters!” she says.

Sharon’s new friend throughout lockdown is Charlotte – the two got together thanks to King’s Church and hit it off immediately.

“What a lovely girl she is,” says Sharon. “We spoke to each other from the first as if we’d know each other forever – we get on like a house on fire.”

The two friends couldn’t meet during lockdown, of course, but one of their big topics for discussion was what it would be like.

“It’ll be so nice!” says Charlotte, who is from Durham and worked on her exams during the lockdown. “I can’t wait – it will be just like when we talk on the phone.”

Charlotte puts their friendship down to the fact they are both chatty.

“Sharon’s a lovely person,” she says. “It’s nice to have someone a bit older than me to talk things over with, and to get a perspective from a different generation.

“The Covid situation made people feel a bit helpless, and that very much still continues, so it’s nice to do something that helps in a small way.”

Sharon and Charlotte are sure their friendship will continue long after the corona crisis is in the past.

“I’d like to be friends with the whole world,” says Sharon. “If we were all friends, there wouldn’t be any of these wars, would there?”