Friends can become scarce as we get older, especially for those who are living alone or who live in care homes. Knowing that a friend is popping round can make a huge difference in an elderly person’s life.
What is befriending?
Our befriending service involves matching an elderly person with a volunteer. The befriender provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis over a long period of time. Where possible, matching is often based on shared interests and on both parties living in the same area.
Who are our volunteers?
People of all ages and from all walks of life become our volunteers. They are carefully selected and have references taken up. All are given ongoing support from WiSE. Whatever a persons talents, they can be used to help us.
How does the service work?
All that we ask is that a volunteer can give a minimum of 1 hour each week as a befriender. Once a volunteer has been matched to an elderly partner, both parties are introduced in the company of our befriending coordinator and the friendship opportunity begins. How the friendship develops will depend on the interests of both parties. The role can involve anything from dropping in for a coffee and a chat to arranging a trip to the shops or sharing a specific social gathering.
What are the benefits I can expect?
Visiting can be satisfying and enjoyable for the volunteer as well as the person being visited. Many of the people we support have experiences and stories to tell that can fascinate and entertain. For the elderly, companionship and social interaction brings a sense of being part of a community and often helps with problems of isolation.