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Face 2 Face: our superstar volunteer befrienders and new online support groups for East Sussex

This month Face 2 Face is celebrating our longest-serving Star Befriender, Diana, on her 7th anniversary volunteering for the team. Rather than telling you why we think she’s so brilliant, we thought it would be far better to share what some of the parent carers she has supported say about her:

She has always helped me both emotionally and practically, giving me sound advice or info about ways forward, things to ask about at meetings or strategies to try. She has listened when I have been through challenging periods and her experience and insight has seen me through these times. Sometimes just being able to ‘offload’ to her was a blessing and ‘weight lifted’. I can honestly say I found our meet ups a real support.”

“To me, Diana has this kind of inner strength wrapped up with a calm, friendly and kind manner….and she really knows her stuff! Having someone to talk to that has been through her own relevant experiences somehow made our chats more meaningful, if that makes sense? I feel lucky to have had Diana’s support and know even now if I really needed to talk she’d be there in a flash!

Diana has been fantastic support to me, from finding appropriate contacts and paperwork to helping me move forward. Also, checking in on a regular basis. Thank you, Diana.

As you can see from these comments, Diana’s Face 2 Face volunteering really has an impact on the parent carers she befriends. Her time and skill really makes a difference to the team too, as Louise Howe, Face 2 Face Project Worker, explains:

Diana is a total superstar who, thanks to her own lived experience, is a wealth of knowledge and tremendous support to the families she befriends. Face to Face is very honoured to have Diana on their team as she’s very loyal and committed. She is a very valuable asset and I know that all those newly trained befrienders do admire and respect Diana too.

Huge thanks for all you do, Diana!

More news from the Face 2 Face team

We’re also thrilled to welcome on board five new volunteers with the Amaze Face 2 Face project. Joining the team this month is Lynn in East Sussex and Mel, Michelle, Rebecca and Sophie in Brighton & Hove, who recently completed a successful six-week training course to join the befriending team. Each of the new volunteers currently befriends between one and three families, whilst receiving lots of support and supervision from the Face 2 Face team.

If you are a parent carer who is interested in becoming a Face 2 Face befriender, please contact debbie@amazesussex.org.uk. We are particularly interested in getting more East Sussex befrienders.

Our newest recruits in the befriending team, along with Face 2 Face trainers Jane, Kathy and Louise The Face 2 Face service in lockdown

The Amaze Face 2 Face service continues to operate during lockdown and volunteer befrienders can connect with families they support in a variety of ways – meeting regular befrienders for a walk and talk whilst following safety guidelines and maintaining social distance; on the phone or on online via Zoom. Meeting in person is less common at the moment due to home-schooling conditions, but can be discussed with your befriender.

Our Face 2 Face groups continue to grow and are successfully running on WhatsApp and meeting on Zoom, covering a wide variety of different themes and topics with guest speakers invited along. Check out Amaze’s events listing for our latest Face 2 Face groups or follow Amaze on Facebook.

Kids Squad and Escape – new ASC support groups for East Sussex

Following in the footsteps of the successful and popular groups that run in Brighton & Hove, we’re keen to reach out to East Sussex parent carers and offer support in the best way possible.

We now offer two WhatsApp groups for parent carers of children with ASC:

  • Kids Squad – for parent carers of children up to 10 years old
  • Escape – for parent carers of children aged 11+

These groups are proving to be a wonderful resource, where members are able to give and receive support during these very challenging times.

How to get involved

You’ll find everything you need to know on the Face 2 Face Befriending page. Alternatively, you can email Louise for Brighton & Hove enquiries, or Kathy for East Sussex enquiries.

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