First Steps offers online befriending for anyone who might benefit from one to one support over email. Befriending provides support by creating a means of communication in times of need. We understand the difficulties a family member or friend goes through when a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, so befriending is open to carers too. It allows you to talk things through with someone who understands, someone who has often been affected themselves by an eating disorder, such as a carer or an ex sufferer. Befriending allows you to offload and express, or simply be a space for you to talk about day to day things.
The befriender is a trained volunteer who will be matched up according to similar interests and/or experiences. The befriender will contact you on a regular basis, typically twice a week. You are able to email your befriender any time with as much or little detail as you like, however, we do ask that you make regular contact and reply to each email.
Befriending does not offer a “miracle cure”. However, it does give you regular support alongside other support you may be accessing. Your befriender will also be able to signpost you to other services and help available.
Befriending has helped me to offload when things are tough. My befriender gives really positive feedback and her email coming in twice a week is a boost when I’m struggling. I’m able to reflect more on how my daughter’s illness is affecting me and acknowledge I can’t fix it all by myself.
– Parent of a service user
To find out more or apply for befriending, please contact Rose on firstname.lastname@example.org