Age UK South Gloucestershire
Age UK South Gloucestershire's Befriending Service is for anyone in the county who is aged 50+ and who feel lonely or socially isolated and struggles to leave their home.
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.
We also offer local telephone befriending if having a volunteer in the home isn't suitable or while you wait to be matched with a visiting volunteer.
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.
We aim to match volunteers to lonely people in their communities, thereby creating local links.
Our volunteers have all been reference checked and are subject to appropriate DBS clearance.
How much does the service cost?
It is free. There is no charge to join our befriending service.
The criteria is that the person being referred lives within South Gloucestershire, that they experience loneliness and have difficulties getting out of their home.
Information for volunteers
Our Befriending volunteers support and provide companionship to those older people in South Gloucestershire through providing regular visits or telephone calls. All our volunteers undergo a full recruitment process that includes appropriate levels of checks such as references and DBS and induction training. Volunteers keep the team up to date by providing monthly activity logs and are invited to regular training updates and social events.
The role could involve simply calling a client each week to check in on how they are doing or going around to their house for a cup of tea and a chat. Visits could also be focused on helping an older person complete a hobby or get out and about by accompanying them on a short local walk or to a coffee morning.
We have volunteers who visit in the daytime, evenings and at weekends. Feeling lonely can happen at any time of day. The majority of our clients are looking for daytime visits, but we can accommodate other times as well.
If you work shifts or irregular hours, we can also accommodate your availability.