Become a ‘Friend’
Who can be a ‘Friend’?
- Potentially anyone in Wales who is not self-isolating can be a ‘Friend’ if they know someone locally who needs support.
- You may already be a ‘Friend’
Why is a ‘Friend’ necessary?
- Many people in Wales have family nearby who are their support during this time, but others, individuals or couples, who are social distancing, self-isolating or shielding and don't have this support may need other people they know to help them.
What would be the alternative with no ‘Friend’?
- People could become lonely and increasingly fearful, which could potentially have an adverse effect on their mental health.
- People could possibly be at greater risk of unscrupulous people they don’t know offering to ‘help’
- People may go against advice to socially distance, self-isolate or shield – for example going to their pharmacist or having to use public transport to go shopping, putting themselves at risk
- There could be further unnecessary strain on the NHS and/or social services.
How can you become a ‘Friend’?
- You need to be already known to person you are supporting (neighbour, friend etc)
- The person who needs support identifies the people they would like to help them. Ideally, this is at least two ‘Friends’ in separate households.
Once nominated as a ‘Friend’ you can:
- Access support on the ‘Friends’ information hub
- Register for updates
- Access information and support by calling Age Cymru Advice on 0300 303 44 98.
What could a ‘Friend’ do to help?
Whilst following the social distancing rules and information on the ‘Friends’ hub, you could:
- Pick up groceries and shopping
- Pick up prescriptions
- Walk pets
- Provide regular telephone contact and/or via online methods such as Skype or FaceTime
- Assist people to get online, or to access services online – whilst socially distancing
- Provide ideas of things that people can do that don’t involve going out, to keep them emotionally and physically well
- Put people in touch with support groups, and other useful local services
- Help people prepare for eventualities that may arise
- Provide reassurance with accurate and up to date information from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.