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"It’s always great to hear appreciation for making phone calls each week and hopefully brightening up someone’s day."

Current available roles

  • Countywide Befrienders

    We are looking for volunteers to become befrienders across the whole of Essex. Befriending is a great way to offer friendship to older people. This can be a real life line to those who may not otherwise speak to another person for the rest of the week. 

    Find out more

  • Thurrock Befrienders

    If you live in the Thurrock area, you can join our team of volunteers to offer a range of services including telephone befriending, home befriending and active befriending. This service is funded by Thurrock Council. 

    Find out  more 

What is befriending?

As people get older, some may find they spend more time on their own. This can sometimes feel lonely, boring or make people miss friends or family.

We offer free telephone friendship services (home and active befriending only in the Thurrock area) for older people so they can enjoy chatting with someone over the phone, all from the comfort of your their home. 

One of our services matches volunteers with older members of the public to have a weekly 30-minute chat together.

As a volunteer, you'd befriend someone who's 60 or over. It's a fun, safe, easy way to get to know someone new from the comfort of your own home. Lots of people tell us the chats are the highlight of their week.

If you'd like to make a difference to an older person's life, read through the rest of this page and see if it's the right opportunity for you.

What's great about becoming a befriender?

  • It's a free, simple way to give something back through a weekly call to an older person.
  • Our dedicated team will match you with someone who has shared interests.
  • Your calls can make a huge difference to the happiness and wellbeing of an older person.
  • We protect the safety of all volunteers and members by automatically connecting them with their telephone friend, which means no personal telephone numbers need to be exchanged.

Age UK Essex is looking for volunteers to make friendly calls to people who are isolated and lonely. 

A little chat can make a big difference to someone who may not speak or see another person 7 days a week.