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Volunteer Befriender

Volunteer Befriender

  • Location:

    Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

  • Sector:


  • Contract type:

    Temporary / Interim

  • Contact:


  • Contact email:

  • Salary high:


  • Salary low:


  • Job ref:


  • Published:

    over 3 years ago

  • Expiry date:


Stoke North Live at Home's aim is to prevent older people from being socially isolated in their homes by encouraging them to be socially active. We operate in the North of the city ie: Fegg Hayes, Norton, Smallthorne, and also Abbey Hulton.

Supported By

You will have a named contact, usually the Manager of the Scheme.

Main Purpose

To befriend an older person(s) on a one to one basis to undertake activities as agreed by the older person

Overview of role

Our Volunteer befrienders help improve the quality of life for older people who are socially isolated and may feel lonely. Our befrienders are introduced to a member with the purpose of them spending an hour or two each visit to bring friendship, company, and a chance to chat.

As part of the visit there may be a practical purpose, such as reading a newspaper to a visually impaired person, or accompanying the service user shopping or include a recreational activity. The aim of our befriending schemes are to support and encourage the member to access services and facilities within the community they live in.


  • Establish and build a friendly and open befriending relationship with the member whilst establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries
  • Spend time/share activities with the member as agreed at the start of the befriending relationship
  • Ensure that the older person's needs are put first within all tasks and communication, whilst respecting the members' privacy and independence
  • You will maintain confidentiality, except in reporting back to the person that supports you, or in circumstances that will be discussed in your training
  • Notify the person that supports you of any issues, difficulties or concerns relating to the visits, or the well-being of the member
  • Undertake all training, or support meetings, as agreed with the person who supports you
  • Complete basic reporting and administrative tasks associated with the role. (eg: Expenses Claim Forms, Record of Visits)
  • Inform your named contact at the earliest opportunity of any change in circumstances which affect your ability to continue with volunteering, such as holidays or periods of time you cannot volunteer
  • To be familiar with and to adhere MHA's Health and Safety Policies and policies relating to your volunteering role
  • Assist the Manager in assessing the potential risks, and to notify them of any concerns you may have for both the Health & Safety of the member and yourself arising from the agreed activities of the visit, ensuring you're adhering to MHA's Health and Safety and Lone Visiting Policies

Skills and qualities needed for this role are:

  • Good listening skills
  • Patience, empathy and understanding of the needs of older people
  • You will be reliable and punctual
  • Flexibility
  • You will have a clear sense of personal boundaries
  • You will provide a supportive and non-judgemental service
  • A willingness to engage with training and development
  • You will have a good understanding of your personal strengths and limitations
  • You'll be able to maintain confidentiality

Skills desirable for the role:

  • Ability to use a computer to send in reports, undergo training, and keep in touch with your named contact

What training and support will be provided?

  • We will provide you with a full induction for the role
  • Training on safeguarding, health and safety and other training and updating of skills and knowledge relevant to the role as appropriate
  • Ongoing support from a named contact
  • Out of pocket expenses in accordance with MHA's Expenses Policy

Times and Commitment

We ask that you make a minimum of six months commitment to this role.

We ask you to be able to spend 1 to 2 hours with an older person each visit. We ask that you visit weekly or fortnightly, and we will agree this with you.

If you are interested in this role please contact Stoke North Live at Home 01782 816 662 or email