In response to the recent lockdown, which has caused so many of Southwark’s residents to feel less connected to the community – and caused us to be less active – T&T is relaunching our “Get Active Befriending” project, Team-Up Take-Part. The project connects people with local befrienders to provide companionship around a shared goal of getting active, meeting for an hour or so each week to try out a new activity or sport.

For many, joining a group or getting back outside for the first time can be a daunting task. Not knowing what to do or where to go – or not having anyone to go with – puts many people off. But that’s where our volunteers come in!

Within a befriending pair, the volunteer provides an hour of 1-to-1 support each week for 6 months. Befriender and befriendee embark on a journey of trying a new activity, providing mutual motivation, support and, above all, companionship. The activity you choose is completely up to you: you could do anything from a walk in the park to playing frisbee, to dance classes or yoga – even a marathon!

For some, the word ‘sports’ might bring back bitter memories of rainy PE lessons, but we’re determined to change this. Getting outside and active has so many benefits for our mental and physical health, which we think everyone should be able to enjoy. That’s why Team-Up Take-Part is open to all, no matter your ability or your age.

If you’re interested in joining the programme or becoming a volunteer Team-Up befriender, send an email to annegrimwade@timeandtalents.org.uk, or call us on 020 7231 7845. We’ll be in touch to have an introductory talk, and to learn more about you and your interests.

Delivering Team-Up Take-Part during the COVID-19 pandemic:

We are committed to delivering Team-Up Take-Part in a safe and sustainable way:

  • We will follow government guidance and regulations to ensure the safety of both our volunteers and service users and, where feasible, maintain the social distancing guidelines;
  • We want “Get Active” to be interpreted in any and every way possible, from community walks, and strength and balance classes, to circuit sessions, yoga, football – anything that gets you moving and enjoying yourself. While we appreciate that the range of possible activities is reduced at the moment, there is still a range of outdoor activities allowed by government guidelines;
  • Where possible, we advise that PPE (personal protective equipment) be worn: for example, during introduction meetings and while on walks. However, we appreciate that this isn’t always viable: for instance when participating in the sport itself. PPE can be provided if needed;
  • We advise people not to use public transport when travelling to and from meetings, wherever possible. To help with this, we aim to match users and volunteers who are based within a relatively close distance of each other.