Befriending

Contact: Helen Ward

Bassetlaw Action Centre
Canal Street
Retford
DN22 6EZ
Telephone: 01777 709650

Email: hward@actioncentre.org.uk

Our befriending scheme receives referrals from Social Prescribing, for clients identified by their GP as suffering from extreme loneliness.  It is a means to reduce isolation and increase independence for our clients.

The clients receive 12 weeks of a befriender visiting them for one hour a week, free of charge. The befrienders will visit the client in their own home and chat to them whilst encouraging them to make positive choices and help them to help themselves.

When the clients are referred to us, we match them with a volunteer, who may have similar interests and hobbies and lives in the same area.  The volunteer would then be introduced to the client by Social Prescribing, and commence the 12 weeks of visits.

The Befriending PLUS scheme was set up, so that clients have the opportunity to continue with their befriender after the initial 12 week period.  This service is also a free of charge, but there may be travel costs incurred for the volunteer mileage.

►   A befriender’s point of view:

►   I knock shouting” it’s only me ” even though I know I will probably have to explain who I am anyway.

►   Some will remember others won’t but either way it’s always a pleasure to receive a warm welcome from my ladies , as I like to think of them.

►   We chat, often the same conversation, it doesn’t matter , they are communicating with another person. I try to take a stimulus with me based on a previous visit or my knowledge of the client’s interests. There is a range of large format books in the library which are very useful for this, we end up singing , discussing and most importantly I think, laughing.

►   Never a dull moment with the volunteering ,not all altruistic though ,it is certainly helping me through my tough times if only they knew that my ladies are probably doing more for me than I am for them.

Could you be a volunteer Befriender?

We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team, as there are a lot of lonely and vulnerable people that would like a visit.

For further information, please contact us at the address above or visit or Volunteering page by clicking here.

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