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Loneliness and social isolation are more common than you think and for many are closely linked to remaining independent and enjoying good physical and mental health.

Older lady enjoying company

“Currently, a million people over 65 feel lonely ‘often’ or ‘always’ and 3.7 million people live alone, many with no means of getting out and about.” (English Longitudinal Study on Ageing)

Our befriending services offer companionship and support to older people who are lonely or isolated, provide a link to the outside world, and can act as a gateway to other services and support.


Befriending involves matching an older person with a volunteer befriender who can visit for a cuppa, friendly conversation and a listening ear on a regular basis. In Leicester City and Leicestershire County, we provide short term support, to increase people’s confidence to get involved in their local community. All of our volunteer befrienders undergo an enhanced DBS check and are required to provide satisfactory references as part of our recruitment process.

Where is Befriending available?

Befriending is available in Leicester City and Leicestershire County, which includes telephone befriending, home visits, and mentoring (short term support).

There is also a separate local Befriending service, available to residents in North West Leicestershire.

Is Befriending free of charge?

Yes. We are kindly supported by funders, including the Big Lottery, which means we can offer you the service at no cost.

How can I access this service?

You will simply need to make contact with our staff member who coordinates befriending.

For befriending in Leicester City and Leicestershire County

Please contact the Moving Forward with Confidence Team on 0116 204 6440 or

For befriending in North West Leicestershire

Please contact Julie Pearson on 01530 833 000.
You can also email