We're looking for great listeners to be part of our new befriending project. At the Sheffield ME and Fibromyalgia Group, we work with people living with chronic illness, and their friends and family. Living with a chronic illness can make it difficult to participate in social activities, and can lead to social isolation. We want to make sure that our members have the opportunity to meet new people, and have the kinds of positive social interactions that we all should be able to enjoy.
As a befriender, we will link you up with members for a friendly chat. Your main role will be to listen, we don't expect you to give advice yourself. However, the role may involve signposting people to relevant services if people are looking for specialist help. You will also have the chance to host online socials which will involve using Zoom to chat to small groups of our members.
We will provide you with all the training you need to feel confident in this role. This will include, what ME and Fibromyalgia are, what support services are available, active listening and safeguarding. We are looking for people with good communication skills , who are patient and empathetic. You will need to have basic IT skills, such as using email, and you will need to have access to a phone. You will be able to claim any expenses related to using your phone, and you will not be required to share your personal number. Although this is not a requirement of the role, we welcome people who can speak any community languages, as we would love to be able to offer this service to any of our members who have difficulty communicating in English.
What skills do I need?
Good verbal communication skills
Empathy and patience
Experience hosting Zoom sessions would be beneficial
What will I gain?
Experience of a supportive role
Knowledge of data security and safeguarding
Knowledge of local services
Training and support
We will provide training in ME and fibromyalgia, data security, safeguarding, and signposting to other services, as part of your induction. We will also run befriending team meetings to discuss how things are going.
You can give as little or as much time as you are able. However, we would like you to have the opportunity to build relationships with our members, so a regular commitment would be preferred. For example, you could decide to call 2 members for a half hour chat every 1-2 weeks.
DBS (criminal records) check