Could you make a phone call to an older person once a week? During COVID when many of our clients continue to isolate it makes a huge difference to them to hear a friendly voice.
We usually have a Befriending Service ( our In Touch service) where we visit older, isolated people in the community but because of COVID-19 many of our clients are isolating. Many of our clients are no longer seeing friends or neighbours and are more isolated than usual. As a Telephone Befriender you will make weekly phone calls checking in and making sure everything is OK. The role is purely social, and many of our clients look forward to having someone checking in on them. For some people a five minute call is enough, for others they find an hour passes pretty quickly!
Our volunteers are of all ages from 18 to in their 90s! We welcome everyone. We have also found that the cross-generation of mixing older and younger people can work really well learning about the differences and experiences in each others lives.
If you have an hour a week then this would be a very rewarding role to take on!
What skills do I need?
You need to be able to speak clearly and be sociable.
Most of our clients speak English but if you have a different language do let us know, we also have clients who speak other languages
What will I gain?
At the very least you have something on your CV. You have the knowledge that you are making a very real difference to an older person's life (and also their community). Our clients say things like, 'It's nice to have someone to chat to,' 'I look forward to it all week,' 'we have a laugh together,' 'it makes me feel like someone cares.' You potentially are matched with someone that you form a real friendship with. You will learn about another person's life. What can you lose? Give it a go!
Training and support
We have online training opportunities during COVID (dementia and suicide awareness is especially useful). Usually we have other in-house training.
The volunteer coordinator stays in regular contact and Age UK Sheffield information and advice is available for support issues too!
Approximately one hour a week.
DBS (criminal records) check
Can be anywhere as it is over the phone.