Befriending During Lockdown (part 3)

And finally, we’re so excited to share the last 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.

David first met Alan when he came to do some volunteer gardening for him – but when lockdown hit, they had to move their friendship onto the phone.

It hasn’t been difficult, though. Alan says: “David’s a great person to talk to – I can chat to him about anything.”

They first met when Alan’s mum was ill, and King’s Church pushed a note through the door offering help with gardening. And after she sadly passed away, Alan was pleased to stay in touch.

David, a former student, is from another city but finds that the Gilesgate and Sherburn area feels just like his home town.

“”I come from a very similar area to this, so it feels familiar here,” he says.

“This is a really open community and it been great to get to know people, and Alan in particular.

“He’s not in the best of health, and he’s been through quite a lot, but he really cares about helping other people; for instance, he recently went to give a bone marrow donation.”

During lockdown, King’s helped Alan with his shopping, too. “I have to take extra care because of several health conditions, and that’s been a big help to me,” he said.

Now lockdown is easing, David has already been back working in Alan’s garden, and the two are glad to see each other again.

“As well as talking on the phone, I went down a few times and we said hello through the window,” says David

“I really appreciate how I’ve been able to get to know someone I might otherwise not have come across.”