My name is Gary this is my experience as a Friendship Finder at FANE.
FANE has helped me to gradually become more outgoing and more generally comfortable with embracing new experiences and different social situations.
I’ve learned it helps decrease loneliness and the feeling of isolation when you keep busy by throwing yourself into more opportunities that are available to you for social development, such as all the invitations for social events.
FANE has also allowed me to build a new lasting friendship with Shaun with the support of his Friendship Builder Martin. Thanks to the social experience exposure I’ve gained through FANE I am able to cope with speaking up more for such things as presentations, activities, intermediate and attending meetings for things I’m involved with outside of FANE so its influence has had an enormous impact on my life and my every day routine in many ways.
This has been my busiest, most active year. Lots of things have changed in my life since joining the program including moving into my own flat and joining a film club with Gateshead library and becoming a member at a volunteer group with the aim of improving and raising awareness of the right opportunities for people with learning disabilities called “Involvement Now”.
My experience spending time with my volunteer has given me a valuable sense of companionship.
When I started with the project I didn’t really have many people who were available to get out for drinks with or go to the cinema with. My friendship builder Dan was quite like me to some extent and was easy to feel comfortable talking to and I tried the Tyneside Cinema with him for the first time.
I am proud of making a lasting friendship with Shaun and having begun attending a film club with Dan’s help and having evolved to the point of attending it by myself and introducing it to Shaun.
This is Gary’s experience. How do you feel about getting out and meeting new people?