The Age UK South Gloucestershire befriending service provides a regular visit or telephone call from one of our trusted volunteers, to those individuals aged 50+ who feel isolated and unable to leave their home.
Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds and they appreciate the difficulties that isolation can create for any of us who have no-one to talk to or share our thoughts with.
Our befriending service can provide you with someone you can look forward to inviting into your home on a regular basis, to have a chat and share some of your memories and expectations. Our befriending volunteers can provide an essential link to your local community.
There is no charge to join our befriending service. The criteria is that you live within South Gloucestershire, that you experience isolation and you have difficulty getting out of your home.
For your safety, all our befriending volunteers are screened and are subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prior to actively joining our service.
For more details drop into our offices, contact us on 01454 411707 or complete an enquiry form.
What our clients say
"The befriending service has been our salvation"
Nora has been receiving visits from Karen (not her real name) for the past 6 months. Her demeanour and outlook on life has changed dramatically over this period. Previously she was very depressed, unable to enjoy her life and was not looking forward to anything with pleasure. Her life had become difficult and she was becoming increasingly isolated. Now Nora looks forward to her weekly coffee and chats with Karen. Her motivation and energy levels have improved. She has difficulty leaving the house, but in time she will be able to take short excursions with Karen which will further reduce her feelings of isolation.
Nora's daughter lives in Australia and phones every week. The befriending service has not only improved Nora's life but also provides her daughter with a reduction in stress and anxiety, knowing Nora is looking forward to the weekly visits.
Nora's daughter says, "the befriending service has been our salvation. Mum did not want to come and live with us in Australia and did not want to enter and aged care facility in England. This simple weekly visit has improved our lives immensely."
What our volunteers say
"It has give me a direction. Previously I have done office work and wouldn't have considered working with people; it has opened new avenues I can explore"
Helen (not her real name) is 44 years old, a survivor of domestic violence, a mum and is long term unemplored. Helen has been volunteering for Age UK South Gloucestershire for 2 years as a befriending volunteer visiting people who are feeling lonely. Helen pops in once a week for a chat and has helped build up the confidence of the lady she visits. Depending on the health of her client, she can be seen speed walking around the block with her client in her mobility scooter. This helps her client get some fresh air and has given her something to look forward to.
Helen says, "I have real satisfaction that I have helped someone. I recently visited her in hospital and it meant the world". Unfortunately, Helen's client has now been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Helen will shortly be undertaking bereavement and loss training provided by Macmillan so she can support other Age UK South Glos volunteers and clients who have experienced loss.
Helen's also commented "it has built up my self-confidence. It has given me a direction. Previously I have done office work and wouldn't have considered working with people; it has opened new avenues I can explore. With help from so many people, I have been inspired."
Could you help us by volunteering?
Our befriending service often has a waiting list, so if you could volunteer for this service, please contact us. You could provide companionship to an isolated individual over the age of 50 in their own home withing South Gloucestershire.
By providing a regular visit to someone who may find it difficult to leave their home and access other services, you will make a real difference in their life. Our volunteers also benefit greatly from this regular contact.
You could engage in mutually interesting conversation and play games such as cards or scrabble or other activities, but the main ingredient of a visit by one of our volunteer befrienders, is good conversation!
Find out more about volunteering