The aim of Befriending Plus is to enhance quality of life and alleviate social isolation by fulfilling emotional and practical needs.
This includes regular home visits to provide social interaction. At the discretion of the volunteer, this could then potentially extend to practical assistance, such as help with transport for doctor, dentist and hospital appointments, collection of prescriptions and pensions, shopping trips and social outings.
We can also help clients find out about and access other services which may be appropriate. We match trained volunteers with shared interests and experiences to older people who have limited social contact. This regular contact can make a real difference to an older person’s life.
Please note this service aims to make people feel less lonely and isolated; it is not a home care service.
Age UK Buckinghamshire receive referrals from Social Services, relatives, health visitors, doctors, nurses, or anyone in contact with an older person who is aware their circumstances fit the criteria. All referees are asked to check first with the older person that they would like someone to visit them regularly.
After receiving the referral, the Befriending Plus Scheme Organiser will contact the older person to arrange a visit. As long as the person is appropriate for the scheme, the organiser will endeavour to introduce them to a volunteer.
All volunteers are interviewed and references received before joining our organisation. After the introduction, the organiser remains in contact with both the volunteer and older person on a regular basis. If either party is not happy, the organiser will place them both back on the list until a more suitable arrangement can be made.
Unfortunately we are unable to offer this service to people with dementia, substantial mental health problems or alcohol dependency as we do not have the specialist skills and knowledge to support these clients.
Can you spare an hour a week to join our Befriending Plus Service? Whatever time you can spare will make a real difference to our clients. We always need volunteers for the Befriending Plus Scheme, so would love to hear from you.
For more information please call 01296 431911 and ask to speak to Melita Smith. Alternatively, complete our volunteer application form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org or post to Age UK Bucks, 145 Meadowcroft, Aylesbury, HP19 9HH.