There are many elderly people in the community who are not able to live as independently as they would like due to frailty, life-limiting illness or poor mobility. As a result, many elderly people in Cheshire, and across the UK, are confined to their homes for large periods of time, where they may rarely see another person. According to Age UK, around 1 million older people in the UK regularly go an entire month without speaking to anyone.
St Luke’s, with the help of amazing volunteers, are try to tackle this problem and reduce the incidence of loneliness across the communities we support. We are doing this by recruiting and supporting volunteer Befrienders, people who choose to give their time, care and support to help an elderly, frail and isolated person feel a little more connected to the world around them and a little less alone.
Befrienders offer companionship, regular visits, emotional and often practical support, they are a link to the wider community for those who need it most. Often a Befriender will visit the person they are matched with weekly, sometimes more often, they may sit in, chat and have a cup of tea or go out for a drive, visit a garden centre or share a meal together. Each befriending relationship is different, just as each one of us is different, matches are made based on the needs and abilities, likes and dislikes along with practice consideration, such as distance and timing.
St Luke’s is always looking for more Befrienders; we currently offer befriending across a number of different locations. For more information on how to become a Befriender or if you would like assistance to set up your own Befriending Service in your community then please contact Catherine Holligan. Catherine is our Compassionate Community Co-ordinator and she currently coordinates all of our Befriending Service. Email Catherine or simply call 07496 073430.