Would you like to spend an hour or two each week taking someone out for a while, watching a film, playing Scrabble, or simply having a chat over a cup of tea? Volunteer befriending has been at the heart of Time & Talents’ offer for over 40 years, and we always have a waiting list of isolated older people who need someone to pay them a weekly visit or phone call.

You will get a lot in return: a feeling of being connected to your community, the fun of getting to know someone you might not otherwise meet, and even a new friendship. Some of our befriendees may have some degree of dementia, so we will train you to feel confident in providing support to someone with needs of this kind.

Home Visiting

Most of the people who need befrienders are housebound, with little to no opportunity for social interaction. Some older people see no-one for days at a time.

As we get older, it’s easy to become isolated and lonely as our opportunities for social activities reduce. A regular weekly visit or phone call from a local volunteer befriender can brighten an older person’s day, help improve their mental health and often results in friendship.

We carefully match you with a befriendee, an older person who we think you’ll get on with – someone who may have a shared interest or something else in common with you. You then arrange to meet or speak at a time that works for you both, and we keep in touch to make sure things are going well. 

Telephone Befriending

Even if you only have 20 minutes a week, you can still help! We offer Telephone Befriending as well as face-to-face visits. Once a week, you make a phone call to an older person, offering a bit of company and a check-in to make sure all is well.

We’ll even give you some helpful prompts, to make sure your conversation gets off to a good start! 

As with Home Visiting befriending, we will keep in touch with you and the older person to ensure that you both have the support you need to keep the relationship successful.

How it works

We’ll carefully match you with someone we think you’ll get on with, and then introduce you. After that, it’s up to you! We’ll keep in touch to make sure things are going well, and offer full support to the person you’re befriending, in case you find they need some extra help.

To become a befriender, or to find out more about the different ways you could help, email us at volunteering@timeandtalents.org.uk, call us on 020 7232 5669, or click on the button below to sign up:

Apply now!