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  • Location: Age UK South Gloucestershire
  • Price: Free
Call 01454 411707 Option 2 for more info

Please note, this service is not available outside Age UK South Gloucestershire - Head Office's catchment area.

Age UK South Gloucestershire
67 High Street
BS35 2AW
United Kingdom

Befriending support both in person and on the phone for older people who are lonely and struggle to leave their home. Friendly volunteers provide a weekly call and catch up or a bit of company.


It is common and completely understandable to feel lonely as you get older. Family members might have moved out of the house or are far away. Perhaps friends or work colleagues have moved or drifted away. Even worse, maybe a loved one has passed away. Perhaps you've lost the confidence or motivation to do the things you used to enjoy doing or feel it is too late to go back or try something new. Most of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives. For many of us, particularly those in later life, loneliness can define our lives and significantly impact our well-being. However, at Age UK South Gloucestershire, we feel loneliness shouldn't be an accepted fact of later life.

We have several ways in which you can become reconnected with people:

- Befriending (Face to Face or Telephone)
- Reconnect (Face to Face or Telephone)

What does the service offer?

A friendly volunteer will provide a regular, usually weekly visit; the visit is purely social and usually last around one hour. There is no time limit on how long the befriending relationship can last, and many of our pairs have been spending time together for years.

Visits can take place in the home, at a mutually agreed location like a coffee morning or perhaps to provide company on a short walk or the occasional outing. During a home visit, you can have a good chat, play games like scrabble, do crosswords together, birdwatch, reminisce, watch and discuss what's on the TV. Anything that is of mutual interest.

If having a volunteer in your home isn't suitable, we also offer telephone befriending. This could be on a temporary basis while you wait for a face-to-face volunteer, or you may decide that you only want to consider telephone befriending

Who is the service for?

Anyone who is living in South Gloucestershire aged 50+ who feels lonely or socially isolated and struggles to leave their home. Unfortunately, we cannot offer this service to anyone living in a care home.

Who are your volunteers?

Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, they can be any age from 18 up, and we have even had a volunteer who was 102! Our volunteers are fully trained, and they appreciate the difficulties that loneliness can create for any of us who have no one to talk to or share our thoughts with. Our volunteers have all been reference checked and are subject to appropriate DBS clearance. We aim to match volunteers to lonely people in their communities, thereby creating local links.

We do our best to accommodate everyone referred to our Befriending programme; however, it may not be suitable for those with a moderate or severe dementia diagnosis due to this being a volunteer-provided service. If you are looking for support for those with more advanced dementia, we recommend looking at our Activity Day Centres, which are run by specially trained staff who are experts at supporting those with dementia

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do the services cost?
Free. There is no charge to join this service.

What if the match is unsuccessful?
We do our best to match you with someone with whom we think you have things in common and will be able to build a good connection; however, if this doesn't work out, then we will find you a new match.

How do I access the befriending service?
Contact us on 01454 411707 and select option 2 for Volunteering and Befriending.

Joining this Service

Or you can refer yourself or someone else to the service using one of our referral forms. (link to referral forms -

Send the below form to or freepost to:

Age UK South Gloucestershire
67 High Street
BS35 2AW