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Befriending criteria

The befriending service aims to provide support and companionship to older people who may be isolated or lonely. We are not able to assist with respite, shopping or appointments and our volunteers are not trained in manual handling so are unable to provide assistance with walking.


Suitability Criteria


  • Aged 50 and over;

  • Living in their own home/residing with family/friend (not residing in a care home);

  • Agree that a befriending volunteer would help reduce their loneliness and isolation;

  • Recognise and remember the volunteer on a weekly basis;

  • Able to understand and remember the purpose of the project;

  • Be receiving adequate support for mental health conditions from a professional agency and manage their condition well;

  • Not currently have a dependency on drugs or alcohol;

  • Able to communicate with a befriending volunteer and office staff, including the wearing of hearing aids if appropriate; and

  • Keep in regular contact with staff including participating in reviews.

Once we receive a referral form, if appropriate, staff will make contact with the client to complete an assessment. We assess all referrals on an individual basis. Decisions on whether to take the client on to the befriending service will be made by the volunteer development officer after the initial assessment and will be discussed with the client, referrer and their family as appropriate.


Our face-to-face befriending service requires one volunteer per client in order for it to operate. This means that it can take several months for a client to be matched to a volunteer.

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