The Effectiveness of Telephone Befriending

This research briefing discusses the effectiveness of telephone befriending as delivered through third sector organisations. As there is an increase in reported experiences of loneliness and social isolation, befriending interventions can have an important role to play in addressing and alleviating such experiences. More specifically, telephone befriending is a low cost, low risk, and low-tech intervention that has shown to be moderately effective in reducing loneliness and social isolation. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, telephone befriending became one of the main befriending interventions used by People Know How, under the name Wellbeing Calls. An increased knowledge of the effectiveness of telephone befriending programmes can lead to improved wellbeing of individuals and, by extension, the building of stronger communities.