Age UK South Staffordshire, Age UK Burton and Age UK North Staffordshire have merged to create a single new charity for older people in Staffordshire. The charity became operational on 1st October 2018 and is called Age UK Staffordshire.
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We provide companionship for older people in the East Staffordshire area to help reduce loneliness and isolation.

What is befriending?

Befriending means to "act as" or become a friend to someone, especially when they are in need of help or support. Our service offers befriending in-person, over the telephone and through social clubs.

Who is the service for?

Anyone aged over 50 in our local area who feels they would like some regular company, or would benefit from more social interaction. People who benefit from befriending can be male or female, single, widowed, married, retired, working or unemployed.

You could be:

  • Living alone
  • Living away from family and friends
  • Living in a new community after recently moving house
  • Socially isolated or lonely
  • Recently bereaved
  • Caring for someone
  • Isolated from your immediate community due to physical disability or health issues
  • Recently out of hospital or experiencing a change in your daily living arrangements
  • Assessed as benefitting from the service

How does befriending work?

Once a referral is made to us, either by yourself or by someone else, our team will be in contact to discuss and arrange a befriending service that best meets your needs and is available to you. This could be:

Face-to-face befriending: where a volunteer befriender visits an older person in their home, perhaps for a cup of tea and a chat, or accompanies them to an activity (such as a trip to a café or the theatre). In some cases, a volunteer may accompany the older person to occasional hospital or doctor’s appointments.

Telephone befriending: where a volunteer befriender will phone an older person at an agreed time for a chat.

Join a social club: where an older person can attend a regular meet up with refreshments, company and activities.

Who can make a referral to the service?

If you're over 50, you can contact us and express your interest. Family, friends, neighbours, colleagues, professionals or other organisations can also make a referral by contacting on the details below.

Why is befriending so important?

Loneliness is a big issue for people in later life in the UK:

  • 3.6m older people in the UK live alone, of whom over 2 million are aged 75+
  • 1.9 million older people often feel ignored or invisible
  • Loneliness can be as harmful for our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day

How befriending makes a difference

Not having someone to talk to regularly can be lonely and isolating, particularly if you’re used to sharing your home and time with others.

Regular social contact helps us stay connected to the outside world, gives us something to look forward to and can lead to long term friendships.

How to make a referral

Call us to make a referral, or if you have any questions about our service:

 01283 510106


No time for a phone call? Drop us a quick email at befriending@ageukburton.org.uk

Be there for a local older person

Whether you're young or old - you could become a volunteer befriender and provide vital company & a friendly chat to a lonely older person near you.