About Befriending

Volunteer befrienders are special people who give up their time to support someone who is lonely or isolated.  People who use befriending service need support for all kinds of reasons - because they have become ill or unable to go out much, have lost confidence, or have no family or friends nearby.  Some people need support only for a short time, until they regain confidence.  Others may need longer term support.

Volunteer befrienders may:

  • Visit someone at their home
  • Buddy someone to take part in social or leisure activities outside the home
  • Offer support and friendship over the telephone or using email
  • Mentor someone to make changes in their life

The commitment is not usually more than a couple of hours a week, though if you wish it can be more or less than this.  The befriending service will provide training and support, and will usually reimburse any out of pocket expenses such as your travel costs.

Kalila and Barbara

Kalila

"Before the first visit to Barbara I have to admit I was a bit nervous, not sure what to expect.  What if she didn't like me?

"However, my doubts were soon cleared up as I found Barbara to be a warm, generous lady with a great sense of humour and an infectious laugh.  We have now being seeing each other for over 8 months and our befriending partnership has fallen into that of a friendship.

"I visit once a week for around two hours, although the time goes too fast for all the things we want to talk about.  Despite our age difference, we have so much in common and share a similar sense of humour.  We never run out of topics to discuss.

"I look forward to the weekly visit and it's a great feeling to know that it brings enjoyment to Barbara's day too."

Barbara

"I was introduced to the Befriending Scheme by my Community Matron.  Due to my personal circumstances I had gone into a 'Victorian decline'!  In other words, I had taken to my bed, become very low in spirits, felt surplus to requirements and lacked friends close by to talk to.  I needed someone to help me through this difficult time.

"Meeting Kalila has been my salvation.  It is a real highlight in the week - it lifts me when she comes.  We get on very well, it feels like we just 'fit' and the age gap melts away. The time always vanishes.

"I find that she is a stabilising presence - she's just lovely and her company is very important to me"