The Visiting Scheme offers support to those people who find themselves isolated and lonely in later life. Support is in the form of weekly visits from a fully trained volunteer whose aim is to offer their time, friendship and help.
Here is a short video about Age Uk Befriending Scheme, which is very similar to our Visiting Scheme.
We all know what it's like to feel lonely, but did you know that around 1 million older people regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone?
As we get older, we are more likely to suffer illness and disability which can prevent us from getting out and about, and people's social networks often shrink due to life-changing events such as retirement and bereavement which can increase the risk of becoming lonely.
At Age UK one of the ways we try to beat loneliness in later life is through our befriending services/visiting scheme, where a volunteer visits an older person once a week in their own home.
What is befriending?
- Face-to-face befriending, where a volunteer befriender/visitor visits an older person in their home
- Telephone befriending, where a volunteer befriender/visitor will phone an older person
With both types of befriending each older person is assigned a one to one volunteer befriender/visitor, who provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long period of time.
Befriending provides an older person with a link to the outside world and often acts as a gateway for other services and valuable support.
Why is befriending so important?
Loneliness is a massive issue for people in later life in the UK.
Half of all people aged 75 and over live alone1 in 10 people aged 65 or over say they are always or often feel lonely – that’s just over a million people. Half of all older people consider the television their main form of company.
Feeling lonely not only makes us miserable, it increases our risk of developing serious mental and physical health problems – research demonstrates it is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and is worse for us than obesity.
If you would like more information or to have a visitor for yourself or family member/friend then please contact 0300 666 9860 between the hours 9am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
Have you got some spare time?
Would you like to help an older person?
Would you like to help reduce social isolation?
Volunteers are essential to the success of the scheme.
Volunteers agree to devote at least one hour a week for their visit.
If you are interested in volunteering please click the download links below, you will be able to download the application form, task description and attributes/values of our volunteers.
Areas URGENTLY looking for Volunteer help:
At present, as the service is so popular, we have clients on a waiting list for a volunteer visitor in the areas shown below:
Fenland Area - Whittlesey & March
Huntingdon Area – Huntingdon, Yaxley, Sawtry, Grafham & Ellington, Warboys & Ramsey, St Ives and St Neots
Cambridge City & Adjoining areas – Cherry Hinton, Milton & Chesterton, Girton & Oakington
South Cambs – Histon, Impington, Whittlesford, Cottenham, Meldreth, Over, Sawston & Great Shelford and Litlington
East Cambs - Ely & Soham
Please contact Dee Potter on 01354 691898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details about volunteering or the Visiting Scheme.