Volunteer as a telephone befriender
We're looking for people to join our volunteer ‘Friends’ telephone befriending team to connect with older people on a weekly 30 minute friendship call.
You can find out more about this role, and register as a volunteer on the Volunteering Wales website. Once you have registered with Volunteering Wales, search on their website for 'Friend in Need' to find this volunteering opportunity.
What happens next?
Once you've registered on the Volunteering Wales website and applied for this opportunity, you'll receive a volunteer interest form from the Friend in Need team at Age Cymru. After a successful interest form the team will be in touch to answer any questions you may have and start the induction process.
Following induction and training, we'll then want to find out a bit about you so we can find your match. We'll match you with an older person based on your interests, hobbies, beliefs, background or anything else that might help you get to know each other.
Once that bit is sorted out, we'll agree a time between you and the older person for your weekly calls to begin.
What is the overall purpose of the role?
By signing up to become a befriender, you're helping reduce social isolation and loneliness in older people in our communities. Regular social interaction can help to build confidence, self-esteem and structure for someone, amongst many other positive outcomes. Befriending projects could not function without people like you. The work that you'll do in this role can really make a difference.
What will you be doing?
You'll call the person once a week, at the same time to offer a bit of company and check-in to make sure all is well. The call should last around 30 minutes.
You'll engage in conversation, providing company and a friendly voice to someone who may be isolated and lonely.
- You'll complete a short log of your conversation, which you'll return to the Volunteer Officer after the call
- Provide reassurance to the older person and help them interpret Welsh Government guidance on Covid-19
- Refer the older person to our Advice Line if they need further support.
What support will you get?
We'll give you induction, training, guidance and support on how to start a call, what to do in the middle and how to end a call, as well as covering what to do on more challenging calls or if you suspect someone may be at risk
We'll give you some guidance on the Welsh Government’s guidance on Coronavirus and ensure you have all the up-to-date information you need to help the older person navigate this challenging time.
We will give you a reference document with other sources of support.
To begin with we’ll give you some prompts and background info to make sure your conversation doesn’t dry up at the beginning. You won’t need that for long though.
What commitment is needed?
The nature of befriending means establishing and building a relationship, so we're looking for people who can commit to befriending an older person for a period of time. If you're just looking for something to fill your time over the next few weeks, this isn’t for you.
Naturally, we understand the personal situations and circumstances change, so if that happens, we would just ask that you let us know so that we can make alternative arrangements so the older person can continue to receive calls.
If you have a commitment that you can’t reschedule at the time you usually make your call, just let us know and we will help make arrangements for you call at a different time or ensure the person you usually call knows that you won’t be calling this week.