Our Befriending Service

Are you living alone?
Do you feel lonely?

Our Befriending Service is for you if you are lonely and socially isolated. We’ll connect you with a volunteer Befriender who will visit to provide companionship on a regular basis.

The primary role of a Befriender is to provide a listening ear to those who do not have many friends or family nearby.

Our Befriender can visit you at home, go for a walk, potter in the garden, take up a new hobby or join a community group with you. We can be here for you.

What’s a Befriending service

Our Befriending service offers supportive, reliable relationships to people who would otherwise be socially isolated and lonely. Surrey Heath Age Concern matches volunteer Befrienders on a one-to-one basis with people aged over 65. Befrienders visit or call regularly for a listening ear and a chat.

Often our service helps identify further needs and concerns, which allows us to offer additional support or signposting, as we work collaboratively with other organisations and local authorities.

Please note, this is a purely social role, befrienders to not undertake any personal care, domestic or driving duties.

The benefits of Befriending

  • Alleviating Social Isolation and Loneliness
    Befriending fosters a sense of connection and belonging, alleviating feelings of social isolation and loneliness.
  • Improving Physical and Mental Health
    Through regular companionship and support, befriending positively impacts both physical and mental well-being.
  • Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem
    Befriending empowers individuals by boosting their confidence and self-esteem through meaningful relationships.
  • Providing Emotional Support
    Befriending offers a crucial source of emotional support, creating a safe space for sharing and understanding.
A woman at Surrey Heath Age Concern, sitting at a table with a cup of coffee.

How our Befriending service works

Our Befriending Service is Free.

Befrienders give their time freely and Surrey Heath Age Concern CIO will reimburse mileage to and from their Befriendee’s homes. All other out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the Befriender are covered in our Expenses Policy.

All our Befrienders are DBS and reference checked for this service.

Our Co-ordinator will help you every step of the way, they will check in with you on a regular basis to ensure that the befriending relationship is evolving.

Surrey Heath Age Concern have 60 Volunteer Befrienders and a further 60 volunteers supporting a variety of social activities.

Your Befriender will visit you every week for at least an hour, this is a long term commitment and over time they become part of their family. It is a special and personal relationship that is actively supported, in the background, by Surrey Heath Age Concern.

You’ll need to apply for a Befriender using our referral form.

Befriending relationships truly can make a world of difference to older people. We’d love for you to join our volunteer team.

What people are saying…

Befriending has exceeded my expectations by miles and miles. I really enjoy seeing S – she is amazing, we exchange recipes and talk endlessly.
Peter is a real tonic, he is a good friend to me and I’m so happy to have him in my life.
Without the visits and phone calls, life would be very lonely. I can’t tell you what a difference the Befriending service has made to me.
Befriending has been more than I had hoped for…it is a visit to look forward to, and a new person to share memories or news with. It works better if we have recognised and admit we are lonely.

Ready to stop feeling lonely and live life to the full?