Why befriending is such a vital service

An older woman smiling on her sofa, chatting to her befriender.

Age UK’s befriending services offer a vital lifeline to many older people, who would otherwise feel totally lonely and isolated. We chat to some of the people who use the service to find out what they think about it.

A service that really works

The older people we spoke to were big fans of Age UK’s befriending services.

Barbara from Devon has only good things to say about the service she’s had: ‘My loneliness was intense, until I began to use the services of Call in Time. This regular contact has made such a difference to my life.

‘Having suffered from loneliness, I would urge any lonely person to use the services of Call in Time. I really don’t know what I’d have done without their support. They have been a lifeline to me. They’re just so understanding.’

Charlie in the West Midlands is equally complimentary about the home visits organised by Age UK Dudley: ‘I would recommend this service to any older person. It’s a brilliant scheme that’s all I can say, and as far as I’m concerned it’s done me the world of good. I can recommend it 100%.'

‘You really are their only social contact'

Mel, who volunteers as one of Age UK’s telephone befrienders, also underlines another key reason why Age UK’s befriending service is so important.

She says, ‘This is the beauty of the programme: if someone’s telling you they’re having problems, you can report back to Call in Time so they can try to arrange some additional support. With some people, you really are their only social contact.’

So in addition to providing emotional support, volunteers can also pick up on practical or health support needs the older person they befriend may have, and – through liaising with Age UK – ensure this extra support is provided.

Find out more about Age UK’s befriending services

If you know of a lonely older person who you feel might benefit from our befriending services, or you’d just like to find out more, please get in touch:

Please note: Call in Time is a corporate volunteer programme only, and we can't accept members of the public as volunteers. If you wish to volunteer as a befriender we recommend you contact your local Age UK for further information on volunteering opportunities.

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