Five minutes with home befriender, Hajra

A head and shoulders shot of Hajra

What does your role as a befriender involve?

I visit a lady who is deafblind and I read her books, usually about famous people, we read about where they have been and what they have achieved. We both like to watch Saturday Kitchen and learn about the places that chef Rick Stein visits, and the new recipes he cooks on the show. We talk about what we have done that week and any events that we have coming up. We have also been learning about the Amazon Echo and how this can benefit people with sight and hearing loss.

Why did you choose to become a befriender?

I was a young carer for my mother who has mental health issues, I believe this is where my caring nature comes from. I wanted to be able to help others who were vulnerable. I also wanted to challenge myself within different areas of volunteering as I am looking to go to university to become a paramedic in the future. The more experience I gain then the better understanding I will have of the challenge’s others face daily basis.

Why Deafblind UK?

I wanted to see what it was like for someone who has dual sensory loss. I felt that this would be a good area to gain experience on how people manage with their daily tasks that we, without sensory loss, take for granted.

What’s the best thing about volunteering for Deafblind UK?

I get to go outside my comfort zone and be able to engage with others without barriers such as age, race and religion. I also like travelling to different places. I feel like I have gained knowledge about sensory loss and have realised that there is nothing to be afraid of. I have learnt so much from volunteering as Phoebe helps me learn my vocabulary and expands on the meaning of words this really helps me and I enjoy it to.

What do you get up to outside of work?

I finished college last year and wanted to take a gap year to gain some experience while I was learning to drive. I am currently working part time now at a care home for elderly which I really enjoy. I also enjoy meeting friends, travelling, I try to go to the gym regularly and practice yoga. I love to shop and enjoy walking and meeting new people I like to keep busy.

What makes your happy?

Making the most of everyday whilst making others happy I try not to focus on anything bad. Being myself is important to me including spending time with my friends.

What annoys you?

Rudeness, racism and judgmental people. People’s expectations and assumptions.

Which three famous people would you invite to a dinner party?

Well this is challenging! If I could then I would have Michael Jackson because there was more to him than just being a singer. I believe he was a caring and loving man. Joan Baez, she is a writer who has written a biography the things she has done for others during the war I admire her caring nature. Lastly Lana Delray she is a singer, when I was going through a bad time I could relate to her music which helped me though a rough period in my life. I find she is very open minded and old school which I also relate to.

Sum yourself up in three words

Friendly, kind, spiritual.

Are you inspired to give your time to help others? Check out our volunteering opportunities here.

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Open Hand Magazine

Open Hand is our free, quarterly magazine containing articles and information that are tailored specifically to people with dual sensory loss.

There are very few publications designed for this specific market and so Open Hand gives its readers valuable information that they may not otherwise have known and reminds readers about Deafblind UK’s support services.

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