Well today, I’ve been matched with my Volunteering visitee. I think you’ll understand if I don’t say anything about them, their life is private and I intend to keep it that way. However, what I will talk about is how the experience makes me feel, how it affects my life, my thoughts. At the moment i’m actually feeling quite a lot of trepidation. Will they like me? Will they think I’m silly, will I actually be able to help at all? Do I actually need to help, or does just being there make the difference?

I’m holding on to the ‘just being there’ thoughts – I can make a good conversation, it’s not a difficult thing really, and well, I’ve been told mostly, that all we really need to do is listen. So as far as listening is concerned I keep re-reading my ‘Listen’ post. I must remember that. My charge may well be frustrated, upset, or equally happy and bouncy, but realistically, it could be anything. They’re just normal people like you and me – but with no one to listen. To hear what they’re saying.

This is worrying me too – what if I form a really close relationship with my charge? What will I do if they’re no longer around? How will that affect me? But again, i’m ahead of myself. So many what ifs… Deal with the here and now. My first vists won’t be until after Christmas now, gives me time to ponder and get used to the idea. I often wonder how I can shoe horn more value and time into my life, but as far as I’m concerned, a few hours a week to give a listening ear to a neighbour is such a valuable thing. It costs nothing. It reminds me that beyond my circle of experience and friends and family, there are more people out there – not glamourised, or stigmatised and demonised by prejudicial media broadcasts.

So – overall, I’m terrified, but I’m also excited. I can feel that little bubble in the pit of my stomach. I can feel that something is changing – is it me? My perceptions? Will this change me for the better? I think it will.