A befriending year full of surprises
My own experience over the past year has been full of surprises. My client lived in a hostel waiting to be housed in a flat. The concern explained to me by the Passage was that the person was unfamiliar with London and shy of going out and about and that she also had health and trauma issues.
I will call my client Terri (not her real name). Terri, I discovered, was quite streetwise and had cousins in East London. Once I had shown her the way she came back alone including at night. Her health issues determined if and when she could meet me. Often this meant her joining me in the hostel’s office for a coffee and a chat, meaning she didn’t have to leave the building. She was reluctant to explore the area for lack of energy, but from time to time could rally and we particularly enjoyed The Passage Christmas party.
She loved company and in many ways the hostel was an ideal home for her, surrounded by other people with time on their hands, often caring for one another and with an onsite office of helpful, trained staff. I gradually overcame my concern that I was not ‘fulfilling my (mostly imagined) remit’ and simply enjoyed our lively exchanges about life in general and Terri’s in particular.
I saw that I had her trust and that the important factor was a lack of judgement on both our parts about each other’s totally different life experiences. We also had a good laugh, especially over the phone where quite a few of our meetings took place during Covid-19 restrictions.