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Friendship team – connecting the community one chat at a time

Hello!  I’m Holly, and I’m part of the Friendship Team at Foothold. My role is a really lovely one, because I get to chat with members of our community who call us. And we really do chat about anything and everything.

This has been a special experience to me because it’s the first opportunity I’ve had to really connect with members of our community on a personal level. Up until this point I’ve worked almost exclusively behind the scenes at Foothold.

Connections in lockdown

The Friendship team is a project we’d planned on rolling out for a long time, because social isolation is real. But when the coronavirus hit and lockdown began, we decided now was a better time than ever to reach out to our community with offers of friendship.

We realised this because we went from working in the office where we’d chat with each other during tea and lunch breaks, to suddenly only communicating with each other by email, about work. It struck us that lockdown really had broken social connections for all of us.

We found ways to manage these feelings of isolation within our team. We formed a WhatsApp group, started a buddy scheme, and a weekly catch up on Zoom. This way we can see each other’s smiling faces and check in with each other, to catch up on how life’s been, and have open discussions about how we’re all feeling.

Friendship team

But we see the community we’ve built in the office as extending to everyone we support or are supported by. So, in realising how much we were missing casual chats with each other, it became obvious that it was the right time to launch the Friendship Team.

I can safely say that it’s been a real success so far! We’ve all learned a lot. From my perspective, I’ve learned a lot more about why we do what we do and what it means to the people who matter most to us.

Now, we’re thinking of ways we may be able to adapt the project to continue connecting Foothold friends in future.

If you’re interested in being part of the Friendship Team and support others in the community, or have someone reach out to you, please get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]

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