Neil’s story

After struggling with severe OCD, Neil was referred to Mind in Bradford’s Community Companions service, where he was supported by a volunteer befriender.

Neil bravely shares his story

I struggle with most things because I have fairly severe OCD. So, most things I do, normal day-to-day things, I’ve got some sort of ritual based around them, repetitive type stuff now. So, it’s quite general, is that, anyway. I’m just trying to think how much I was getting out really before that. It’s not a huge amount. I mean, I have carers coming in to support me three times a week.

I was referred in by my social worker who was based at Somerset House in Shipley. I thought it would be a beneficial thing to do, which I mean, I’d not even heard about the service at that point.

I think it was July when I got a phone call from a lass, and we just took it from there, really. She was quite an easy talker, as it were. We talked for about half an hour on the phone or something like that, and then we arranged to ring again about a week later. And then we decided to meet up.

The first time, we just went to a local café. It just got me out of the house on those occasions, yeah. And just more than that, really, it’s just having someone to talk to who’s prepared to give you the time to talk because, I mean, we were two people who didn’t know each other at all. I felt really, I don’t really know this person well on the one hand. And yet, in other ways, we’ve had quite a lot of conversations. So, it’s been interesting, certainly, yes.

It’s been something to look forward to on a weekly basis because, as I say, she was easy to talk to straight away really, so we didn’t have any problems there. I think actually most of the time we probably talk about chocolate and things like that and we’ll be going for hot chocolates to drink and that sort of thing. So, she has that in common with me that I can’t I can’t resist chocolate.

I never thought about it before, except possibly from the volunteering side. It was just suggested to me. So, I thought, I thought I might as well go for it and see, which has been a good thing.


Community Companions is a befriending service that can support adults aged 18 and over experiencing loneliness, social isolation, anxiety and depression.

If you would like to support someone like Neil, make an application to become a volunteer befriender with Community Companions.

If you are looking for befriending support, you can refer yourself through our online form

Posted on: 15th April 2024

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