Telephone Befrienders

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

As a telephone befriender, you will help to reduce feelings of social isolation and loneliness in older people.  You will be matched to an older person in the UK to make regular friendship calls. 

Most of our volunteers call the person they are befriending weekly, but depending on your availability we can match you to more than one person, or to support one of our lighter touch services that require less frequent calls.

We are currently able to offer telephone befriending in all areas of mainland UK. Face-to-face befriending may be available in areas where we have a local MHA service.

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. 

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.

What skills and qualities do I need? 
  • 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
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