Case Study: Friend in Need, Age Cymru

Wed 1 Nov 2023

Age Cymru’s Friend in Need service was launched in June 2020 to support those over 70 who were suffering from loneliness and isolation as a result of social distancing, self-isolation, and shielding.

The Befriending Networks member offers older people the opportunity to connect with a trained Age Cymru volunteer for a free weekly friendship call. Their befrienders engage in friendly conversation and provide a welcome listening ear for their befriendees. 

Something To Look Forward To

Regular social interaction can help to build confidence, self-esteem, and structure.

'Every Tuesday, I keep an eye on the clock, and it seems that the time goes really slowly, as I am waiting for my weekly telephone call from my Friend from Age Cymru.  My memory is not as it was, but I do know that she rings every week without fail.'
'As soon as the phone rings, and I hear the cheery 'hello' a smile comes to my face. We chat about things in general, but it does give my son a break whilst I am on the phone to her.' 

The impact of something as simple as a 30-minute weekly phone call is significant. Those receiving the calls find it brightens their week. 

'I don’t know what I would have done without my phone calls from Age Cymru, I have been feeling very under the weather, and quite frankly felt as if I could not go on.  But I get a phone call, and as soon as I hear the voice, I begin to smile.  She makes me laugh, and I know that she is reliable as clockwork with her telephone calls – thank you Age Cymru for putting a bit of light back into my life.'

Proud to Volunteer

It’s not just the befriendees who feel the benefit of calls. Volunteers take a lot from them too.

'I chat to a few Friends each week, and have done so for quite a long time - they are now my real friends, and we learn so much from each other. We are all prone to loneliness, even if you have a large family and friends around you, but so many people have nobody.  I am proud to volunteer for Friend in Need.'

Get Involved

Visit the Age Cymru profile on the Befriending Networks Directory if you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender with Friend in Need.

Volunteers receive a full induction and training and are provided with ongoing support throughout.