Be A Friend Scheme

  • Are you interested in people?
  • Do you enjoy conversations?
  • Do you enjoy making new friends?
  • Visit someone for as little as an hour a week or even an hour a fortnight and enjoy their company!
  • Travelling expenses reimbursed.
  • Regular support available.
  • All volunteers are police checked.
The Be A Friend Scheme is greatly valued by both our Volunteer Visitors and our 'clients'.  Our volunteers visit people in their own homes to offer company, conversation and in one case, a game of chess!

The visits take place regularly, most either weekly or fortnightly. 

Referrals for the scheme come from many sources including - Family, Friends, Social Workers, Local Voluntary Agencies and self-referrals.  Our volunteers are required to undergo checks through the Disclosure and Barring Service (ex. Criminal Records Bureau) as well as provide suitable references.

People want someone to visit them for a variety of reasons.  These can include being elderly, housebound through disability and without family or friends to visit, often because they do not live nearby.

All referrals are assessed by the scheme Co-ordinator.  This includes a visit to the person wanting a visitor as well as a risk assessment.  After this, volunteers are introduced to the person they will be visiting.  The aim is to provide a match of interests and personality where possible. 

Just an hour a week or fortnight can make a huge difference to both the volunteers and the person being visited.  The EVB has a growing waiting list and urgent need for more volunteers.  We have a small team of dedicated Visitors but we need to see this team grow with more volunteers to keep up with the increasing demand we have in our community for companionship.

The EVB aims to support our volunteers by offering training and on-going support. Volunteers also receive out-of-pocket expenses.

Rachel Richardson is our befriending co-ordinator. Here is a note from Rachel to introduce herself:

"I would like to introduce myself, my name is Rachel Richardson and I'm the befriending co-ordinator at the bureau. I would just like to say how welcome I've been made to feel here and what lovely colleagues I have. I look forward to helping people of this community, so if you feel you could be a volunteer befriender or if you have a friend or relative that you feel could benefit from the scheme, then please
e-mail me at RachelR@eastwoodvb.org.uk or call me on 01773 535255"  

Here's what two of our 'clients' had to say

"I couldn't have picked better myself.  We get on so well."

"It's nice to have someone to call, especially when it's winter.  You look forward to them coming.  People on our own, we wait for them to call.  It's something special in your day to wait for this person to come.  I will always remember her because she came at the time I felt lowest".