I was initially nervous about being paired with a young women thinking we would have little in common. After a few visits we established lots of common ground. Sami my volunteer is now like the outside world, coming in!”

St Monica Trust runs the Community Befriending Scheme to combat loneliness and isolation for older adults by matching them with local volunteers, who visit them regularly in their own homes. This is totally FREE and the benefits are endless.

Why?

As we get older, despite our best efforts, many of us will end up spending more time on our own than we would like too. The changes we face as we go through life, i.e. retirement, losing loved ones, ill health, may mean we end up indoors for days on end, sometimes without anyone to talk to. So it’s no wonder half of our older adults say that TV is their main source of company.

Where?

South Bristol -Southville, Ashton, Stockwood, Whitchurch, Hengrove

North Somerset – Banwell, Winscombe, Sandford, Churchill, Langford

How?

We take referrals for anyone aged 60yrs or over who reside in the specified areas above. Anyone can make a referral. Befriending Volunteers are aged 18 years plus, with a wide range of working professions and backgrounds. Each Volunteer is DBS checked and the necessary training and support is provided.

Benefits

It is a well-known fact that Befriending Schemes are known to:

  • Reduce social isolation
  • Positive effect on reducing the risk of Anxiety and Depression
  • Improve self esteem
  • Increase confidence
  • Help to maintain independence
  • Improve health
  • Improve quality of life
  • Decrease their use of health and social care services

It shows that Befriending is a powerful vehicle to open doors and look beyond the barriers, giving people hope for the future. It has quite literally changed lives; its effects both for the older adult and the volunteer.

Volunteering

She tells me about her life stories, which I love to hear and I tell her about my ambitions for the future, amongst other things. We get on really well and I really enjoy her company”. Community Befriending Volunteer.

Volunteering can be fun and is an easy way to explore interests and passions. It can be meaningful, interesting, relaxing and an energising escape from ones day-to-day routine of work, school or family commitments. It can also provide individuals with renewed creativity, motivation and vision that can carry over into their personal and professional life. We are looking for volunteers from a wide range of working professions and backgrounds. Each volunteer is DBS checked and given the necessary training.

Make a referral or become a Volunteer

If you would like to make a referral to the Community Befriending Scheme, or would like to know more about becoming a Volunteer, then please click on the downloadable links below.

Project contacts

Karen Bennett

Community Befriending Officer 0117 305 2365 / 07875 406 844 Karen.bennett@stmonicatrust.org.uk