Susan Gallifant and Brenda Evans have become great friends since they met at a Dementia training session when they both started volunteering for BEA in October 2017. They enjoyed the small group format of the training they received in Wheelchair Handling, 1st Aid and Dementia Awareness and are now very active volunteers – as befrienders, shop workers, and happy to be asked to do other one-off jobs. Susan and Brenda are both very clear that they get a lot out of volunteering themselves, as well as having made a new friend. They both find befriending really rewarding, helping lovely people who don’t get out of their houses, and love meeting all the friendly people who come into the shop. Susan said “You meet such a wide range of people from different backgrounds to yourselves.”
“Just do it! You can choose what you want to do. Give it a try.”
Brenda lives in Bramley. She spent time bringing up her children and travelled a lot, as her husband was in the forces. She loves doing a whole range of crafts: previously crochet, now more sewing and cake decorating. She gets asked to do things and gives everything away. She also enjoys gardening, when the weather is good enough!
Susan lives in Headingley, but knows the local area well, having spent much of her career as a Nursery Nurse at Greenhill School, the spent many years looking after two older ladies with learning difficulties, in their own home.
Susan and Brenda also take advantage of BEA activities themselves, going to Tai chi together and on a trip, and intend to start Zumba soon. Outside of BEA they meet up, sometimes go shopping together and “always have something to talk about”.
If you’re not sure about BEAing a volunteer, as Brenda says: “Just do it! You can choose what you want to do. Give it a try.”