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Befriending volunteer

As a befriender you could provide company for a lonely older person in South Gloucestershire.

What do befrienders do?

It's a terrible thing to be lonely. Did you know that 1.2 million older people are chronically lonely, and in South Gloucestershire, we have over 150 people waiting for a volunteer to visit? You can do something to help by becoming a Befriender with Age UK South Gloucestershire.

Befriending volunteers get matched with an older person in the community. They visit them or give them a call regularly to provide companionship. 

What you will get out of it

  • It's a great way to make a real difference in someone's life
  • You'll be giving something to your community
  • You get to be part of Age UK South Gloucestershire's friendly volunteer team
  • Volunteers tell us they find befriending really rewarding

What is expected of me?

Befriending volunteers are expected to contact their match regularly; this usually works out at least once a week.

For Befrienders who visit a client in person, a commitment of around an hour visit per week is expected. With telephone befriending, this can be more variable depending on the client. Some clients appreciate a couple of short check-in calls in a week, while others are happy for one long chat.  

All volunteers will also need to attend relevant training sessions, provide references and undertake a DBS check appropriate to the role.

Training for the role is a mixture of self-study, online and formal training courses.  The training courses take place at a variety of locations across South Gloucestershire and take place in the evening as well as during the working day.

When can I visit?

We have volunteers who visit in the daytime, evenings and at weekends.  Feeling lonely can happen at any time of day.  The majority of our clients are looking for daytime visits, but we can accommodate other times as well.

If you work shifts or irregular hours, we are always happy to work with you and accommodate your availability.