Becoming a Befriender
Befrienders are volunteers who give their time to provide informal support to people who are lonely, isolated or just want someone to have a chat with.
Personal connection and a sense of community are crucial and befrienders can play a vital part in helping to provide this. Loneliness and isolation can have a serious detrimental impact on both physical and mental wellbeing so volunteer befrienders not only improve the lives of the individuals they support but can also reduce the strain on other services too.
Volunteer befrienders also often feel that their own wellbeing and sense of purpose is improved knowing that they are helping someone who needs support.
If you think this might be a role that you would like to consider, then click on the Find a Befriender Near You page where you can see details of organisations near you, or in which you might have a particular interest, and contact them directly to find out exactly what is involved.
There are various types of befriending roles including:
face to face befriending where volunteers meet people in the befriendee’s own home
buddying where the befriender might go out to activities with someone to increase their confidence
telephone befriending and telephone checking where befrienders contact people for a chat on the phone or to make a regular check that they are okay
Training and Support
As a volunteer befriender, whatever the role, you should get training and support from the organisation with which you volunteer.
This might differ from organisation to organisation but you should have a clear idea of what your role is, who to go to and what to do in the event you need support.
You should also get out of pocket expenses such as mileage if you need to travel for any reason connected to your volunteering, for example, to see your befriendee or to attend training.