Sonia Anderson

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Mentoring+Befriending Foundation

Sonia came to Bridge in November 2012, attending with a friend of hers who was a member at Bridge. She applied for a volunteer role as a cleaner, stating that she "wants to help and meet new people".

Sonia was very quiet but you could instantly see that she was a genuine, lovely person who did indeed want to help.

Sonia

Sonia started coming in for a few days a week. She remained very quiet and would apologise for everything, regularly starting her sentences with "sorry". Sonia always felt like she was putting on you and we had to constantly remind her that this was not the case!

Sonia attended our mentoring training in 2013. At this point it became apparent that Sonia thrived on learning and was particularly interested in anything she felt could benefit our members.

With each course she went on we could see her confidence increasing. Sonia went on to attend many courses including Safeguarding, First Aid, Self- esteem and confidence, Food hygiene, health champion and many more.

Sonia went on to have many roles within Bridge. She became a fantastic mentor, she did member inductions, would help in reception, in the office, the kitchen, and continued with cleaning, Sonia could not do enough to help members, volunteers and staff. Whatever she could do to help, Sonia did it. She loved to help people. If you offered to make her a cup of tea she would be the person who would make it and would get you one whilst she was doing it!

Sadly, Sonia suffered with some serious health issues. Despite knowing that her health may suffer as a result, Sonia organised a sponsored walk to raise money to buy a computer for a member who was partially sighted. Sonia knew this would make a huge difference for this member's life. Anything that Sonia knew could help someone she would do. Sonia stated that although she would like a job at Bridge she actually enjoyed the fact that she does not get paid for her role as she loves being at Bridge and how it makes her feel to help others.

Sonia's personality was infectious. She was always laughing, and hearing her laugh made you feel better! She remained positive and was totally dedicated to her role of helping others, and showed great strength to continue to do this whilst dealing with her health issues.

Sadly Sonia passed away in March 2017.

Sonia encapsulated everything that is good about Bridge. She would never judge anyone. She treated everyone with the utmost respect and made Bridge a fun and happy place to be in.

Sonia's family asked for donations at her funeral to be made to Bridge. We have used this money to decorate the chillout room and have renamed this "The Sonia Anderson Room" in dedication to Sonia. It has been thoughtfully decorated in her favourite colour and items have been purchased that we know she would have liked, and will be a permanent reminder of Sonia for all of us.

Bridge Substance Misuse Programme Ltd is a Social Enterprise, company registered number 06221493. Registered office 63c Gold Street, Northampton, NN1 1RA.