Our Befriending Service offers friendship and companionship to older people who live alone or who are housebound.
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.
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
We urgently need more befriending volunteers to meet the demand for the service.