As a volunteer befriender you will provide companionship to an elderly, isolated frail individual (client) with a life- limiting illness. The befriending relationship provides the client with additional social support by developing an emotionally supportive relationship, helping the client to feel less isolated and more connected to their community. Befriending complements social and domestic support but does not replace it. Befrienders do not provide personal care. Befrienders offer friendship.

Befrienders offer regular contact, companionship and a link to the wider community. The role of a befriender is a very important one for both client and befriender.

Title: Volunteer Befriender
Reports to: Compassionate Community Coordinator
Qualifications: No professional qualifications are required
Hours required: Around 3 hours per week, ongoing
Location: Client’s home

Duties and responsibilities

Services and activities will vary as they are tailor-made for each individual person (Befriender and Client), but will include:

  • Visiting clients at home
  • Providing companionship by listening, talking, reading, sharing activities
  • Providing opportunities for engagement in social activities
  • Offering support whilst respecting a person’s independence and dignity
  • Working closely, where appropriate with the clients family and carer
  • Assisting, where appropriate with trips and visits, such as to the library, coffee shop, out for lunch, local gardens/park, dentist, optician etc.
  • Assisting, where appropriate with small tasks, such as walking a dog, taking the bins out, helping in the garden, popping to the shops for a bottle of milk etc.
  • Communicating with your Compassionate Community Coordinator
  • Attending induction, training, team catch up sessions

How we support you

  • Relevant induction
  • Ongoing, relevant training and other development opportunities
  • One-to-one and group support
  • Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses, in line with our policy

Benefits to the Befriender

  • Experiencing the satisfaction and fulfilment that is derived from making a positive contribution to the well-being of an individual, their family
  • Supporting the community to be a more compassionate place in which to live, work, volunteer, play and die, building strength and resilience in your community
  • Getting to know fellow befrienders and clients and growing your personal network in your local community
  • The opportunity to enhance your communication skills and gain a greater understanding of life-limiting illness and its ramifications
  • Access to training and on-going support to ensure your experience is fulfilling and rewarding.

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 please contact our Compassionate Community Co-ordinator, Catherine Holligan on 07496 073430.

Due to the nature of the role, we require 2 references and an enhanced Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) check.