Make a new friend through our one-to-one befriending program. You will visit a lovely customer in their own home to have a cuppa and a chat on a weekly basis.
Outline of duties:
- To support our customers to help alleviate isolation and loneliness, by visiting them regularly at mutually agreed times, to build up and maintain a trusting close relationship over time.
- To empower our customers to rediscover social skills and confidence, by encouraging them to be an active partner in the relationship, rather than a recipient of help.
- To assist our customers with new opportunities if they choose them, by seeking new solutions and possibly engaging in new activities. New activities and hobbies may be something you can learn and enjoy together within their home or encouraging them to go out and do independently with friends, family or carers.
- To enable our customers to make choices about how they connect to our wider community if they want to, by providing information in partnership with Age UK North Tyneside.
- To have fun. It can be easy to underestimate the importance of just having a laugh and a good time.
We work with older people therefore it is essential that all our volunteers hold the following qualities:
- A non-judgemental approach.
- Good listener.
- Good sense of humour.
- Flexible, able to deal with changes in schedule and changes in the relationship with the person you will be talking to.
- Reliable, trustworthy and respectful of confidentiality.
- Ability to build effective relationships with customers and to interact with them in a non-patronising and respectful way.
- Ability to build an open and honest relationship with the Befriending Coordinator and ask for help or advice in the case of issues or safeguarding incidents.
- Ability to operate within the remit of Age UK North Tyneside’s Policies and Procedures.
- Ability to stick to guidelines and participate in ongoing one to ones and training sessions with the Befriending Coordinator.
- Enthusiasm and commitment to Age UK North Tyneside's’ values and objectives.
Time Commitment: Varies, usually one hour per week plus travel time to and from the customer’s home.
Location: Across North Tyneside, at the customer’s home.
Age UK North Tyneside will provide you with:
- A full training and induction programme.
- A DBS check to enable you to interact 1:1 with our customers
- On-going support from the Befriending Coordinator, including regular check-ins.
- Access to a network of other volunteers for advice and guidance.
- A volunteer reward and recognition program, to celebrate your achievements!
To apply, please call 0191 287 7011 or email Volunteer@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk.
Prefer to volunteer over the phone?
Check out our Telephone Befriender vacancy.
Age UK North Tyneside works solely for the benefit of older people and their carers living in the Borough of North Tyneside. Through volunteering, you are helping to make a positive difference to the lives of older people in your local community. Age UK North Tyneside recognises the benefit and value of volunteering and believes volunteering is an activity that should be open to all members of the community.
Volunteers often create a friendly and caring community, they bring skills and qualities adding value and experience, and many of our services could not happen without them.
Volunteers are people who give freely their time, abilities, skills and enthusiasm, without payment, in order to contribute something to their community.
DWP has published new guidance on volunteering and claiming benefits:
The guidance aims to help claimants make informed decisions on volunteering and explains:
- How many hours you can volunteer
- What happens if you get a health or disability benefit
- What expense you can claim
Benefits of Volunteering
There are many benefits to being a volunteer:
- Learning new skills
- Gaining work experience
- Building your confidence and self esteem
- Meeting new people and making new friends
- Trying something new
- Developing a skill, hobby or interest
- Working as part of a team
- Making a difference to your own life and the lives of others
- As a way of saying thank-you to our volunteers we arrange regular social events and presentations for them
We will provide you with travel expenses and training opportunities. Your time, skills and enthusiasm make a very big difference to the lives of older people. Without your help, most of our work would not be possible. We will help you get the most out of your voluntary work by giving you support and training.
Volunteers may also qualify for a huge range of money saving deals and vouchers, from mouth watering restaurant vouchers, discount holidays, money off fashion fixes through to deals on gym membership, mobile phones, and utilities. Find out more on the Charity Workers Discount website.
How To Get Involved
It’s easy to become a volunteer and we welcome people of all ages and from all backgrounds, who bring with them their much needed experience and support. Have a look at the roles we have on offer in the Current Volunteering Opportunities section. If you would like to volunteer, please request a registration form from our HR Team by emailing Volunteer@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk.
If you would like a registration form sent to you in the post, please call 0191 287 7011. You can return completed paper forms to the address below:
Age UK North Tyneside
13 Saville Street West,
Telephone: 0191 287 7011
On receiving your completed form we will then invite you in for an interview to discuss your form further, and talk about the current volunteer opportunities we have available which may suit you. Please be aware that the volunteer process can take up to 4-6 weeks due to the reference checks, DBS checks, and processes we have to follow before a volunteer can begin their placement.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the volunteering team on 0191 287 7011 or email Volunteer@ageuknorthtyneside.org.uk.
We hope that you will find your involvement with Age UK North Tyneside rewarding and interesting and look forward to working with you in the near future.