21 December 2022

It is no surprise that Christmas can be a lonely time for many people. The festive season might have got you thinking about how to give back and reach out to people experiencing loneliness and Befriending is the perfect way to do this!

You may have noticed a number of Befriending schemes on our Volunteer Opportunities page, but may be wondering ‘what is a Befriending scheme?’

Befrienders are volunteers who are trained and supported to provide companionship to lonely or isolated people within the community. Befrienders visit or call for an hour or so each week, talking to and supporting the person.

Befriending schemes are usually adapted to suit the needs of the individual, so a mutually good time is found to call. Before the pandemic, befrienders would have the opportunity to go out and about to doctors appointments, coffee shops or the cinema, providing the service user with a much-needed sense of community. However, now this may look different. The person you are supporting may like to get out and about in the community, or they might prefer a phone call!

Either way, many individuals are feeling even more isolated than usual. Organisations that offer befriending are therefore reporting longer waiting lists than usual, and more befrienders are needed. If you are reliable, a good listener and able to commit a couple of hours each week, you could become a befriender. 

There are many befriending organisations operating in Basildon, Billericay and Wickford. These include BASIS, Age Well East and Motivated Minds. Be sure to visit our volunteering opportunities tab to find out more about the current openings!

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