What is a ‘typical’ volunteer? An older person who has retired? A young person wanting to get some work experience? A busy parent who has a few hours they would like to give? A full time employee who would like to spare some time in the evening or on the weekend? Someone who is currently unemployed? We have all of these and more currently volunteering with us! All our volunteers come from different backgrounds, experiences and stages in their lives. The only thing that is ‘typical’ about our volunteers is that they all want to help someone feel less lonely!

If you would like to get involved, read on….

The Role…

Our volunteers visit a client once a week, at the same time and same day, for a minimum of 1.5 hours.  Most clients are unable to leave their own homes, so the visit will take place in the home and you will chat with them, listen to any concerns that they may have or maybe enjoy an activity like a crossword or playing a board game. If they would like to go out, you can help them to do this, even a short  walk and a change of scenery can make a big difference to someone who can’t leave their home on their own.

Our volunteers don’t do shopping for their clients, any form of personal care, DIY, gardening or cleaning.  If clients need these services they should be already provided by the statutory agencies such as Social Services.

Getting involved…

Before inviting you to our office for a face-to-face interview, we will ask you:

  • can you commit to visiting a client for at least a year?
  • are you happy to have a DBS (Criminal Records Check) carried out?
  • can you provide two referees, who are not family members, who we can contact for a character reference

If the answer is “yes” to these questions, you will be invited to the office for an informal interview in which our Volunteer Coordinator will ask about your hobbies, interests and background so that when the time comes, they will be able to match you with someone who you will have something in common with.  You will be also informed of the next Induction Training for Befrienders, our mandatory training which all volunteers need to attend before being linked to a client.

Benefits of Volunteering

-Volunteering has great benefits to both physical and mental health.

-You will become part of a network of volunteers with regular training opportunities and social gatherings.

-You will receive regular support from our staff team.

-You will gain great experience which can help with future careers if needed.

Next Steps…

If you would like to have an informal chat about volunteering with us, please call the office on 020 8434 3635  to find out more or email befriending@volunteerlink.org.uk.