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Befriending Week 2021

Published on 29 October 2021 02:58 PM


It's Befriending Week 2021, the perfect time to celebrate our vital Befriending Service we deliver to those who feel lonely, isolated or unable to leave their home.

The last two years have changed people's lives in many ways and have been a difficult time for older people in our community who have suffered much loneliness and isolation. 

Befriending Week, derived by 'Befriending Networks', is the perfect time to celebrate how wonderful befriending is and show the wider community what a difference having a volunteer befriender's makes to our lovely clients.

What is befriending?

Befriending is a relationship between two individuals initiated, supported and monitored by an agency (in this case, Age UK South Gloucestershire). It is a wonderful, selfless act of which we feel the below quote summaries so well;

"Befriending is the simple act of giving your time to someone who needs support and friendship, to be someone they know is there for them without expecting payment or a return of favour."

We have probably all been befrienders at some time in our life on an informal level; keeping an eye on an elderly relative, collecting a friend's children from school with our own or popping in to see a lonely neighbour. 

A befriending role with us is a bit different, though. If you become a volunteer befriender with us, you are doing it voluntarily, giving of your time freely and without strings. Still, the route to befriending is slightly more complicated than the informal act of being a good neighbour, as befriending, in this case, is a service. We carry out a complete recruitment process, including DBS check and full volunteer training in the role, to ensure everyone is safe and has the best experience possible.

At Age UK South Gloucestershire, we don't limit the length of time a volunteer supports a client; our volunteers' relationships with clients are often for the remainder of the client's life.  

In celebration of Befriending and its tremendous contribution to the change in how people experience later life, we shall be sharing some of our clients' experiences this week to show how life-changing it can be to those in need of company.

We still have over 180 people on our waiting list for the Befriending Service and there is sure to be someone living close to you! If you be interested in volunteering with us please click here for information, we’d love to hear from you.