Telephone Befrienders

We need people who can regularly telephone an older person to provide friendship and support

What would I be doing as a telephone befriender?

The aim of telephone befriending is to reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness in older people. Volunteers are required to ring an older person to check on them and build a friendship.

What impact would I have?

One half an hour call seems really simple, but having someone to talk to and someone to listen, could really make a difference to an older person. It could be that you’re the only person they speak to that day, or even that week. Our telephone befriending service has become increasingly important during the pandemic as people become more isolated whilst staying indoors.

How does it work?

Our befrienders are introduced to an older person, either through a telephone call or a free video calling programme like Skype (this would depend if the older person had access to a home broadband connection).

The calling is flexible, we recommend you try and keep the call to the same time and day every week, but it’s up to you and you can discuss this on your first call.

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 calls made
  • Flexible, reliable and punctual
  • 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. Amid the coronavirus outbreak, this is more important than ever and we need help in order to keep up the levels of excellent care that we provide.

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 to Harry. Jack has also offered to play for the other community group members to enjoy and have a sing-along! 

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Help us to support crucial and life enhancing services that eliminate isolation and loneliness, enabling people to live later life well.

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