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Our Befriending Service offers friendship and companionship to older people who live alone and feel lonely or isolated.

People can become isolated for a variety of reasons - ill health disability or social disadvantage - but here at Age UK Oldham we passionately believe that no one should have no one. Being matched with a volunteer befriender often fills a big gap.

Our scheme offers friendship and companionship through a registered volunteer befriender who is matched to the older person and visits each week. Together they can chat, enjoy a cup of tea, take a walk or visit shops, theatre or local events.

The results can be significant as befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities leading to increased self-esteem and self-confidence.  

Sometimes finding a visitor can take some time, but our in-touch telephone service will provide a weekly call to keep us in touch with those people awaiting a volunteer befriender. A friendly call and chat will ensure regular contact until we match you with a new friend.

What do older people get from having a befriender?
  • Interaction – overcomes the problem of loneliness and social isolation amongst older people
  • Support –  giving not just emotional support, volunteers can help in many ways including being able to pick up on any practical or health support needed.
  • Friendship – we can be there for them when they have nobody else. Good company and support is important for anyone's wellbeing.

What do volunteers enjoy about being a befriender?
  • Satisfaction – knowing you have made a difference to someone’s life
  • Friendship –  with both the person you visit and with other volunteers
  • Valuable experience – for your work and life
  • Full training – given by the service coordinator
  • On-going support and guidance

'To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world'  -  John Lennon

Accessing this service

If you or someone you know would benefit from having a befriender visit, please download our Befriending Referral Form. 

Befriending Referral Form

To find out more about Age UK Oldham’s Befriending Service, please contact Maggie Hurley on the details below. 


Maggie Hurley - Volunteer and Community Services Manager
Phone: 0161 622 9252  /  07827 498098

Get involved

We urgently need more befriending volunteers to meet the demand for the service.

Further information

More on our website

More on the Age UK national website