Katriona’s Story – Big Hearts Befriending
Hearts’ season ticket holder Katriona wanted to help a vulnerable young person through the Club’s charity. She is now a Volunteer Befriender with Big Hearts.
Why did you decide to become a Volunteer Befriender?
As a Hearts’ fan I saw some promotion in the Stadium and online. I was convinced by the idea of helping a vulnerable young person and doing so as part of the Hearts’ family via Big Hearts, the charity of the Club.
What does the role involve?
It’s all about doing social activities once a week and progressively building a trusted relationship that will benefit the child. I’m matched with a 13 years old boy and together we go swimming, we play tennis or go to the pictures. It’s a lot of fun !
Did you receive any training?
Absolutely, it’s a very important part because you get to learn a lot of things, including poverty or families in crisis. It has opened my eyes on those who are less fortunate. The training also provides the support mecanism you will receive throughout your volunteering, with all the different people you can contact for help or advice.
How is your relationship with your befriendee?
We are having a great time – it has gone so quickly since July. He is a Hibs fan which leads to a lot of good banter between us. Last week we went to the trampoline park and it was lovely to see us wearing our Hearts and Hibs strip while having great fun together.
Is there any highlight of your volunteering so far?
Yes, when we went to the diving board at Wester Hailes. It was 3 meters high and it definitely took me out of my comfort zone! The kid wanted to do it and it challenged me, but at the end I was really happy to have done it with him.
What is the best part of being a Befriender?
You can see the young person having loads of fun whilst you know there might be some issues at home. After few weeks you can see the difference you are making and it’s very rewarding. I guess you are providing some stability because we meet every week at the same time and the kid really looks forward to meeting up which is lovely too.