Active Befriending on the News!
BBC West came to film Dot with her Volunteer companion Wendy, and learn about how our 'Walk and Talk' service helps older people regain fitness and confidence post lockdown.
What is the Active Befriending service?
Our free Active Befriending ’Walk and Talk’ service aims to support older people who would like to benefit from fresh air and being more active but don’t feel very confident about going out by themselves.
This is a new Befriending service which sits alongside our Befriending and our Friendly Phone Calls services to offer a more active alternative for those who want it. The service is free, has been devised and supported by Age UK Somerset, Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP) and Somerset County Council.
What does the Active Befriending service offer?
After clients have registered they will be matched with a suitable volunteer (depending of course on availability in that area). Then over an initial 8 week period, clients will be called for by the volunteer each week, who will then take them out for a short walk starting from (and returning to) the client’s home.
The pace of the walks will be set by the client and will not be strenuous. Every client is different and so the duration of the walks will be tailored to their needs and wishes. The social aspect of having a friendly chat during the meeting is seen as just as important as the walk!
What are the benefits of the service?
- A reduction in feelings of loneliness or isolation
- An increase in confidence
- An increase in fitness
- Improvement in physical, mental and emotional well-being
- Meeting new people, making new connections
- Being introduced to new activities in the area
Who is the service for?
We are planning to offer the Active Befriending service to anyone over 60 in the Somerset and North Somerset area who wishes to take part (depending on availability of local volunteers), with priority given to those who live alone. Please get in touch to register your interest or if you have any questions.
Is there a charge for this service?
The service is free! However as a charity if you would like to make a donation these are always gratefully received but are not required.
Who are the Volunteers?
Our Volunteers are friendly local people of all ages, (although the majority are 60+ themselves), who are supervised by us, and have undergone DBS checks and training to be able to help us with this service.
How does someone register for the Active Befriending service?
Get in touch with us by calling 01823 345625 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you a form to complete and return by post or email. If you need help with the form just let us know.
Once we have received your registration form we’ll be in touch to start arranging a match with a volunteer.