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Befriending

This service is part of the AWARDS (Ageing Well – Advocacy, Respect, Dignity and Support) project, funded by The Big Lottery Fund.

What is the service?

To help older and isolated residents, Gosport Voluntary Action runs a befriending service, where a volunteer provides friendly conversation and companionship on a regular basis, over a long period of time.  We offer the following types of befriending:

  • Face-to-face befriending, where a volunteer befriender visits an older person in their home once a week.
  • Telephone befriending, where a volunteer befriender phones an older person once a week.
  • CHAT Groups, where a volunteer hosts, in their own home, a monthly meeting for four guests to enjoy an afternoon of chat, tea and cake.

Befriending provides an older person with a link to the outside world and may also act as a gateway for other services and valuable support.

Who is eligible for the service?

Our befriending service is available to Gosport residents aged 60 years and over.

Is there a cost for the service?

No, the service is completely free to the befriendee (older person). However, there are no resources to cover any out of pocket expenses a volunteer may incur such as travel costs.

When a claim is received from a volunteer, a donation towards it is requested from the befriendee through the Befriending Service office.

How can the service be accessed?

To find out more, or to access the service, please contact:

Dawn Ward, Manager on 02392 601314 or homeserve@gva.org.uk

Jean Legg, Befriending Co-ordinator on 023 92604681 or befriender@gva.org.uk

A referral can also be made in many ways – Adult Services; Health professionals; family; friends; as long as the person is aware of the referral being made.

Further information

Once the service has been requested we will arrange a home visit where the service will be clearly explained. With the approval of the prospective befriendee, whenever possible, a relative or friend is invited to attend the visit. We can then find out what support is needed.

The Befriending Service continually seeks to recruit and select suitable volunteers.  All volunteers undergo a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check as well as reference checks, before becoming a befriender.

Once a suitable volunteer is recruited they will be issued with an ID card to take with them at all times.  For the Visiting Service they will be introduced to the befriendee by a Befriending Service staff member.

Confidentiality is assured at all times.

Would you like to become a volunteer befriender?

We are looking for people with good communication skills, a caring nature and the ability to talk to an older person on a one-to-one basis, to become volunteer befrienders.

This rewarding opportunity has flexible hours to fit with your own commitments. Befrienders are asked to make a regular weekly visit of at least 1 hour; go for a walk; help write a letter; share interests. To find out more please see our listing with Go Volunteer. 

 Feedback and complaints

We welcome feedback, comments, suggestions and complaints. We actively encourage you to contact us with your feedback, whether good or bad.

We have a complaints procedure so that any cause for concern may be expressed in the strictest confidence. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

This project is funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

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