A group from Praxis Care Befriending visited Mount Stewart House on Thursday 24th September. Our Befriending Service is part of the Together For You project which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund. Praxis Care Befriending aims to help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness felt by individuals with mental ill health by matching them up with a Volunteer Befriender to go out for a coffee, out for a walk to the cinema etc.
Our trip to Mount Stewart not only provided an opportunity to visit a new place and get out for the day but also allowed volunteers and service users to get to know one another. Befriending happens mostly on a one to one basis so opportunities to meet others doing the same role are very important.
Our visit to Mount Stewart started with lunch provided by the National Trust Tea Room on site followed by a cup of tea or coffee and a bun – essential parts of many befriending matches! Before our visit to the house we had time to browse around the gift shop as well as the second hand book area where a few purchases were made.
Our visit to the house was improved by the helpful guides in each of the rooms who provided information on the family who lived there, interesting facts about the contents of the room and a few stories of who visited and stayed in the house over the years. There was then some free time to explore the gardens, have another coffee or do some shopping before heading back to Belfast on the bus.
Some of the group took the time to wander round the lake and explore the formal gardens around the house. This provided an opportunity for a walk, some fresh air and plenty of chat amongst the group.
The visit was a great success with everyone enjoying the experience.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a Befriending Volunteer with Praxis Care and making a difference to someone who feels lonely or isolated as a result of their mental ill health why not get in touch with Catherine on 028 9023 4555 / firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
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