Centre-based Befriender for People With Disabilities (PWDs)

ABLE Respite Centre is recruiting Centre-based Befrienders to befriend their care recipients through their befriending programme. The programme is both a weekly drop-in programme (individual sessions) and an organic part of the daily sociABLE programme (group session) on every Monday.

Generally, the timing for the sessions are as follow:
Individual session:  11am – 12pm, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
Group session: 2pm – 3.30pm

Befriending:

  1. Ratio of 1:1 – befrienders will be put in a partnership with specific clients (who have regular time slots)
  2. Befrienders will be required to commit indefinitely to working with their partnered clients
  3. Objective: social interaction between client & befriender – befriender becomes a trusted friend, a model for social interaction
  4. Befrienders may be assisting client in rehabilitation by helping them set & work on goals (e.g. practising speech exercises, manners)

Commitment:

  1. Every Monday (except Public Holidays, centre closure, etc.)
  2. Timing is 10.30am – 3.30pm (negotiable)
  3. Once a month we will also have an outing in place of the day’s programme – best for befrienders to accompany, as it becomes a shared fun experience
  4. Flexible to accommodate travel plans (befrienders may be asked to cover each other)

Programme:

  1. Staff will provide training, a writeup of the client, and list of suggested activities
  2. Befriender has flexibility to decide together with the client what to do in specific sessions
  3. Befriender will be required to write case notes for each session
  4. As befrienders become more familiar with clients, befrienders are encouraged to suggest to staff new activities to do
  5. Staff will also check in with befrienders regularly (e.g. updates on client’s health, behaviour issues, exploring programme changes)

Good to have:

  1. Empathy, compassion (not pity)
  2. Active listening skills
  3. Humility, befriendee-first
  4. Seeing PWDs as equal persons, not charity cases or something to “improve”
  5. Patience & flexibility
  6. Discretion to observe confidentiality
  7. Age: above 21 (not really an issue – more about attitude & perspective)

I am a current volunteer.

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