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68.15 – (vers2)Open Lines newsletter – Autumn (3)

Belive charity

Belive is a person-centred befriending service for people with a mild-moderate learning disability in Medway and throughout Kent. It aims to promote a sense of belonging, improve self-esteem, confidence, identity, and wellbeing. It offers a free independent befriending service that could include support to visit relatives, shopping, reading, socialising, interviews and much more. The service has been adapted to include virtual contact such as calls, zoom and whatsapp. If you are interested in finding out more about the service, or considering becoming a volunteer, please email




My name is Theresa Hammond, founder of Belive. Welcome to Belive’s first newsletter of 2020! It has been such a journey for us, and I bet for you too. What with COVID-19, the impact this had on our lives, wellbeing, business, service, community, and families. Not to mention, the rest of the world!

At the beginning of lockdown in March, I thought this is nice. Time to read, reflect, spend time with my husband, do the gardening etc…….. then it got a bit boring to say the least. I found it quite disorientating when it changed from lockdown to stay safe and keep to the two-metre distance. I remember going to the garden centre for the first time, and feeling out of place, like an ‘out of body’ experience and had difficulty paying with my debit card, not to mention the queue behind me!

We were also in the process of completing core training for the volunteers at the time. Luckily, our diverse volunteers are committed and stayed in touch by developing a ‘group’ WhatsApp, sent daily messages, emoji’s and funny jokes. They are truly inspirational and on behalf of myself and co-trustees, we would like to say a ‘big thank you’. We subsequently, reviewed the way we delivered our service, instead of allowing COVID, to dictate our invaluable service and amended it from face-face to virtual. We already used telephone as part of our service, and decided to include Zoom, and Video WhatsApp! If there is anything positive about COVID, I learnt to use Zoom for the first time! We also saw an opportunity to widen our geographical area, to include the whole of Kent not just Medway! We networked with Ashford Voluntary Agency, who kindly put our service out there, we received referrals, and our volunteers are supporting beneficiaries who live in the Ashford area. So, a big thank you, to Lee Robinson and team from Ashford Volunteer Centre.


Welcome to Tolu, our part time coordinator. Tolu joined us in September on a part time flexi-basis. Tolu works 7 hours,

Monday-Tuesday 10.00am-1.30pm.

You can email Tolu at or by phone on 075 9355 6954.



Belive is getting recognition for the services we provide, for people living with mild-moderate learning disability in Kent. We recently won an ‘out of the ordinary’ grant and were among hundreds of charities and initiatives to be chosen.

We continue to support our beneficiaries, volunteers and look forward to recruiting diverse volunteers who share our passion going forward. In the meantime, stay safe, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, until our next Newsletter in 2021.

I would also like to say a big thank you to our funders, without their support, Belive would not become a reality!

Our Operating Hours: 10.00am-4pm Monday- Thursday.

Phone: 079 7769 6658

Email Us: