Be Friendly

Befriending Case Study

racing welfare befriending

Racing Welfare's Be Friendly Service is available to everyone who works in racing. If you are feeling lonely or isolated you can sign up to a weekly befriending call and talk to a befriender in a safe and secure environment.

We spoke to Jane, who works as a Stud Hand and used the service following the birth of her son.

Befriending Q&A

How did you hear about racing’s befriending service?
I have worked as a Stud Hand for many years so I knew my local welfare officer from her regular visits to the stud. After I had a baby and was feeling low, I contacted her. She recommended the Be Friendly service as an option. I felt alone and thought I would try it.

What made you use the service?
I didn’t realise how cut off I would feel after having a baby. I love my baby to pieces but I didn’t realise it would be such a shock. I struggled with feeding him and I was exhausted and didn’t even have time to drink a hot cup of tea let alone get out of the house. It made me feel very isolated. I also found the physical recovery hard and I really missed my old life.

How often did you use the befriending service?
After the first call I decided to do it every week. It helped to talk about it and not feel judged. It’s hard to admit it as having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life.
What was your overall experience?
It helped to get everything off my chest and it felt like a relief. Chatting about it made me realise it is normal to feel the way I did and that I could get help if I needed it. The befriender was kind and if I was feeling low, I knew I had my weekly call to chat about it.

How has it helped you?
I didn’t feel so alone and it helped me not to feel so ashamed. I eventually managed to tell my family how I felt. I’m a single mum living in a rural area and it helped not to feel so lonely just having a friendly voice on the end of the phone. We didn’t always talk about how I felt sometimes we just chatted about the weather or horses or general life stuff.

Did you build a relationship with the befriender?
Yes the befriender made me feel at ease and I knew it was confidential. I feel it helped that they understood racing and the fact I missed the hustle and bustle of the yard and the horses.

Would you use it again?
Hopefully I won’t feel that way again but if I ever did suffer from loneliness then yes I definitely would.

Would you recommend the service?
Yes I never realised what talking for just half an hour per week could do for me. I felt more positive after the phone call and more confident. I would recommend it to anyone - young or old.

Read Terry's story here.

How to sign up to Be Friendly

If you would like to sign up to our Be Friendly service you can contact us in the following ways:

You may also find the following information helpful:

The service is completely free and fully confidential.

Was this answer helpful?
Your rating has been submitted; please tell us how we can make this answer more useful.