Befriending Volunteers

Help us provide one-to-one support to older people living in their own homes, relieving feelings of loneliness and isolation.

What would I be doing as a befriender?

The aim of befriending is to reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness in older people. Volunteers visit older people at their homes regularly to provide some companionship and support.

What impact would I have?

For a number of reasons, some older people can become isolated at home with little or no contact with people.  Over time this can be damaging to someone’s health. Having a regular visitor to talk with and someone to listen can make a real difference. It could be that you’re the only person they speak to that day or even that week.

Our befriending service will be increasingly important as we move out of the Covid-19 outbreak giving some older people the opportunity to reconnect with people.

How does it work?

Our befrienders are matched with someone taking into account the needs and interests of the older person.  Befrienders will then be introduced to the person they are going to support and the whole process is overseen by a local MHA Communities scheme who will be there to help and support both the volunteer and the older person every step of the way.

Befriending can be flexible depending on the needs of the older person but usually, a regular time and day would be agreed on at least initially.  Often but not always, visits occur weekly.

We’re looking for people who have the following skills and qualities:

  • Are aged 18 and over
  • Good listening skills
  • Patience, empathy, and understanding of the needs of older people
  • Ability to keep records of visits made
  • Flexible, reliable, and punctual
  • A clear sense of personal boundaries and confidentiality
  • Able to provide non-judgemental support
  • Engage with training and development

Why volunteer for MHA?

If you are passionate about caring for older people, MHA is the place for you. We are a national charity inspiring the best care at every stage of later life. It is our mission to enable people to live later life well and you could help us achieve this.

Our volunteers are making a difference every day

One of our Doncaster community group members, Harry, who is 99 years old loves classical music. So one of our telephone befriender volunteers, Jack has been playing the piano whilst on the phone with Harry. Jack has also offered to play for the other community group members to enjoy and have a sing-along! 


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Why volunteer for MHA?

We are a charity that inspires the best care and wellbeing at every stage of later life. Each individual that makes up our team is valued and is part of a community that is dedicated to improving the lives of older people.

We are proud to service all our residents with pastoral care through our dedicated chaplaincy service. We place great importance on nurturing the mind, body and spirit of those we care for, their families and our colleagues regardless of faith, background or belief.

Work for us

Work for us

We’re looking for committed and compassionate people to help make a difference to the vulnerable older people we care for and support.

Find out more

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