Some elderly people can go for weeks without seeing or even speaking to anyone. Half of all people over 75 live alone (source: Age UK), and with more people living further away from their families, and today’s busy lifestyles, many of these people will not have regular visitors or phone calls. This is where a befriender comes in. Our volunteer befrienders can visit or telephone someone who feels lonely or isolated once a week – or more or less often depending on their individual circumstances.
How does it work?
If you, or someone you know, could benefit from having a befriender, please call the office on 01626 771695. Following a telephone call to establish that this is the appropriate service for the person, our Volunteer Co-ordinator will arrange to visit the lonely person at home. This is an opportunity for us to gain some insight into the person’s personality, interests, and needs, as well as to carry out a risk assessment. Following this meeting, the Volunteer Co-ordinator will match the person with a volunteer befriender who shares similar interests. Every effort is made to match people who we believe will both enjoy each other’s company, to ensure a long and happy relationship that both parties can gain from.
We also offer a Telephone Befriending Service for peoplewho don’t want a visitor at home or are waiting for a befriender.
What sort of thing do befrienders do?
Most befrienders will visit for an hour or two each week, for a chat and a cuppa. Depending on their interests, they may do a more specific activity during this time, such as playing scrabble, knitting, reading to the person, or helping with practical tasks such as writing birthday cards. Some befrienders take clients out for short walks, or out to a local cafe, and even for days out.
What kind of people are we looking for?
Anyone! We get such a wide range of referrals for all sorts of people, so we are always looking for new befrienders who can share their skills, interests, and experiences. If you think you could lend someone a listening ear once a week, please do get in touch. Befriending is incredibly rewarding and we do our very best to match you with someone whose company we think you will enjoy as much as you enjoy theirs!