Age UK Norfolk

Befriending Service

Our Befriending Service offers a vital lifeline to many older people who would otherwise feel lonely & isolated, through a regular friendly telephone call. The service is free & the calls are made by our dedicated volunteers. We want to develop the service to reach more lonely older people.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 PM, 28 November 2017 to 12:00 PM, 5 December 2017

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1077097)

Check mark Match funded

Campaign target

£2,000

Amount raised

£3,330

Donations

22

    Category

    Helping

Location

  • "It's nice to have someone to talk to. I'm on my own most of the time and can't get out. I have a wheelchair but no one to push me. The calls make all the difference."

    — Chris

  • "Her calls mean so much to me. I only have a visitor once a week and a lot of the time I get lonely and also low. I have no family as they have all died and so have most of my friends. The fact that she calls me regularly really helps me enormously."

    — Fran (not real name)

  • "My volunteer is a lovely lady. I'm suffering really badly with depression and her calls give me something to look forward to."

    — Charlie

  • "Her calls mean so much to me. I only have a visitor once a week and a lot of the time I get lonely and also low. I have no family as they have all died and so have most of my friends. The fact that she calls me regularly really helps me enormously."

    — Fran (not real name)

  • "It's nice to have someone to talk to. I'm on my own most of the time and can't get out. I have a wheelchair but no one to push me. The calls make all the difference."

    — Chris

  • "My volunteer is a lovely lady. I'm suffering really badly with depression and her calls give me something to look forward to."

    — Charlie

Situation

There are estimated to be about 38,000 people aged 65 and over in Norfolk who are lonely (that’s 1 in 5), with a quarter of those surveyed saying they never leave their home. Sadly this is the reality for so many older people, who have been coping with loneliness year after year and describe loneliness as ‘living through their memories.’ Isolation can also lead onto other issues, with lonely people more likely to experience poor physical or mental health or be vulnerable to exploitation.

Solution

Some older people can go for a week without speaking to anyone. Our regular calls help alleviate the feelings related to isolation & contribute in maintaining mental health and wellbeing. Norfolk is a large rural county & a telephone-based service allows us to optimise the number of people we contact & volunteers are community-based as they can make the calls from home. This means our volunteers represent a wide cross-section of society & this helps in matching service users to volunteers.