We are looking for volunteers to provide regular befriending telephone calls to a lonely/ isolated individual in Suffolk.
What is Telephone Befriending?
Becoming a Telephone Befriender provides a real opportunity to make a difference to someone’s life. Conversations can be simple, such as finding out about how that person’s week has been or talking with them about their interests, hobbies or pets that they may have. Chatting with someone on a regular basis has shown how this often builds confidence and helps with better community integration.
The people that you will be making contact with could be those who are currently socially isolated due to service closure or those registered on our waiting list for a face-to-face Befriender.
Where does the role take place?
What support and training will I be provided with?
A member of staff will be available to give you continuous support, advice and guidance.
You will be provided with:
● Background information about the individual you will be telephoning
● Information regarding confidentiality
● Guidance on how to speak with members, what questions to ask and how to keep conversation flowing
● Advice about professional boundaries regarding any areas of conversation that might compromise your relationship
● *Guidance on how to take necessary notes and keep an accurate record of conversations you have had with members where appropriate
*Please note that due to the nature of these conversations, all telephone befrienders must complete a safeguarding training course and complete a basic DBS check. Your Link Co-Ordinator will arrange both with you. (There will be no cost to you for these.)
What attributes/skills do I need?
● Friendly and Non-judgemental
● Good listening and Communication skills
● Reliable and Dedicated
● Compassionate and Understanding
● An ability to develop positive friendships with those being befriended
● To be able to report sensitive or important information in note form
● A good understanding of confidentiality
What benefits can I expect?
● The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping a vulnerable person in your community
● Valuable experience of volunteering that you can add to your CV
● Become part of a well-established team of volunteers
● To make new friends
We will provide Safeguarding training for this role.
How much time do I need to commit?
This role is fairly flexible. We are looking for somebody who is willing to carry out the role on a regular basis, for a couple of hours or more. This could be once a week, once a fortnight, or even once a month. As many of our members need structure, it is important that we are able to establish some form of routine.
The Befriending Scheme provides friendship and learning opportunities for people (16yrs+) from vulnerable groups, including those with mental health needs and older people, as well as our existing members with learning disabilities. We also offer various volunteering opportunities with extra support for those who need it.
Founded as a registered charity in 1989 as West Suffolk Befriending Scheme, our core activities are running regular drop-in centres, now known as Hubs, building meaningful 1-to-1 friendships between vulnerable people and volunteer befrienders, evening Befrienders Clubs and Saturday morning groups.
We also run one-off themed activity days, workshops and social events as well as providing volunteer training and support for carers across the county.