As a befriender you could provide company for a lonely older person in North Tyneside.
Befriending and Telephone Befriending
“The chances are we've all been affected by Loneliness, either directly or through someone close to us. We can all do more to try and make a difference and make our country a less lonely place." - Minister for Loneliness Baroness Diana Barran
Befriending volunteers offer supportive, reliable relationships to people who would otherwise be socially isolated.
Around the UK, there are befriending projects which organise effective support for children and young people, families, people with mental ill-health, people with learning disabilities and older people, amongst many others.
Become a befriender with us and you can support an older person. Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone.
As you build up and maintain a trusting close relationship over time, your regular social interaction might help someone pursue a new direction in life, open up a range of activities and lead to increased self-esteem and confidence. Your one to one relationship will be supported by us.
You can choose to help by visiting a befriendee in their home environment or by making telephone calls. With concerns about COVID-19, we are offering telephone calls to all befriendees at present.
Just so you know, home visits are requested by older people who struggle to leave their home environment long term. If home visits are for you, your friendship will begin on the phone, until it is safe to visit. Volunteer Nicola told us it’s good to know they will be putting a face to a voice soon, she said “There’s only one thing better than a cup of tea, and that’s two cups of tea”.
Telephone calls are offered to any older person who is currently stuck at home because of the Coronavirus crisis. You can enjoy chatting with someone over the phone, all from the comfort of your home.
If you're empathetic and good at talking, you could be a befriender. Your time could make a massive difference to an older person's life. It’s fun, safe and easy. Lots of people say these chats are the highlight of their week.
Please take a look at our role outlines for more…
If you’d like to change two lives by volunteering as a telephone befriender or a home visit befriender, when the Covid safety rules permit, then please click on the How to Get Involved and Next Steps blocks below.
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 https://www.charityworkerdiscounts.com/
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.