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Are you lonely? Or do you know someone that could benefit from our Befriending Service?

"I feel like we’ve been through so much together. Her call is the highlight of my week."

Befriending client 

Service Update 

Due to COVID-19 all face-to-face befriending is being conducted by telephone. We are able to take on new clients currently. Please get in contact to make an enquiry. 

Find out about the special measures Age UK Essex have put in place during the Coronavirus pandemic

Get in touch

Call us today on 01268 525 353 or 01708 866 684 if you live in Thurrock. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 4pm

How we can help you

We spend our entire lives building friendships. They are our support network and make us who we are. However, as we get older we may find it difficult to get out and about, we may have lost touch with our friends and relatives and we may find ourselves feeling lonely.
This is where the Age UK Essex Befriending Service can step in! If you are over 60 and feeling lonely we can offer you friendship through one of our volunteers. 

We will carefully match you to one of our Befriending Volunteers who will call or visit once a week. Just like a true friend, our volunteers will take time to listen to you and have a friendly chat. The aim of the service is to reduce social isolation and to help make life
more fulfilling. 

Age UK Essex offers this service free of charge.

Countywide Befriending Service - Home or Telephone 

Our Countywide Befriending Service offers companionship through a weekly home visit or phone call. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax in your own home and have a good catch up over a cup of tea with one of our screened and trained volunteer befrienders.

For more information call 01268 525 353.

Befriending Service in Thurrock

The Age UK Essex Thurrock Befriending Service helps people over 60 who are feeling lonely and in need of companionship and friendship who live in the Thurrock area. You will be matched with one of our local Befriending volunteers, who will visit you once a week at home or over the phone for a friendly chat.

We offer a range of Befriending services in Thurrock, including:

  • Telephone Befriending
  • Home Befriending (a visit within the home)
  • Active Befriending (accompanied activity where possible outside the home)

For more information please call 01708 866 684.

This service is funded by Thurrock Council.

A service you can trust

  • Our befriending team is made up of specially trained volunteers and we try to match people with similar interests so there's always something to talk about.
  • Our volunteers are supported by dedicated members of Age UK Essex staff who specialise in providing befriending services.
  • Our Befriending coordinator will arrange a referral call to discuss your needs and explain the service. Together you will look at the different befriending options that might be available to find one that suits you. Once you have decided on a service, we will match you with one of our dedicated Befriending volunteers.

How do I access this service

Our Befriending Service is available free of charge to people over the age of 60 who are living with the effects of loneliness or social isolation.

You can refer yourself to the service or you may be referred to us by a friend, relative or carer, a health or social care professional, or a member of staff from a voluntary agency who knows you.

Get in touch

If you would like to make a referral or find out more about the service, email us today.

Support us

The Befriending Service relies on donations from individuals and grants from commissioning bodies to provide this invaluable service. Find out how you can support the work we do and enable us to befriend many more lonely and isolated people.

Get involved

Read some of our beneficiaries stories

  • Mrs W's story

    “My befriender Jane has been visiting me since 2005. I feel like we’ve been through so much together. Her visit is the highlight of my week and I think, even though she’s incredibly busy and works full time in London, her visit is an important part of her week too. I feel like a member of her family now and I’ve even been invited to her wedding which I’m thoroughly looking forward to. I love telling her my stories and how life used to be. And Jane’s really got me into Facebook where I can keep updated with her and my other friends and family. I maybe 80, but I can still keep up with the youngsters!! I’m not sure I’d be the same without Jane in my life though.”

  • Mr D’s story

    “I was referred to the befriending service run by Age UK Essex by the Bereavement Service after my wife died. I had cared for my wife for many years as she had Alzheimer's. It was just a way of life for me but when she died I realised how cut off from the world I had become. She was my life. I no longer had people around me though and nothing really to do anymore. I was so lonely.”

    How did Age UK Essex help?

    “The befriending service set up a weekly phone call with one of their befrienders. It took awhile for me to get into the calls and build a trust between us but I have to say Phil has been amazing. I’ve told him all about the bus tours my wife and I used to enjoy. It had been years since I’d been on one but Phil encouraged me to book a trip. It’s like I’ve had a new lease of life, I regularly go on bus tours now, I’m over to Norfolk next, and I’ve also joined four clubs that I go to regularly. I’m so grateful to Phil and all the support he’s given me.”

Find out about becoming a volunteer befriender