Befriending is a relationship between a trained volunteer (a befriender) and a service user (befriendee) within a structured and supervised programme.
The Befriending Service offers support and friendship to members of the community who experience any degree of hearing loss (from being profoundly deaf, BSL users or hard of hearing), as well as being by affected by issues such as loneliness, isolation, mental health issues or disability. They are referred to us by Social Services, friends and relatives, hospitals, church groups, or may self-refer. The service users may be living in their own homes, sheltered housing or residential or nursing homes. They may be lonely, depressed or isolated but, whatever the reason, our aim is to enable a service user to overcome these problems. We do this by offering the very special support a volunteer/befriender can provide.
We can enhance the quality of a befriendee’s life by supporting and promoting his or her welfare and personal development.
Service users are able to:
• Express their concerns and feel listened to and understood.
• Find companionship, friendship and practical support.
• Develop self-help and coping skills.
• Improve family relationships.
• Reduce anxiety and stress levels.
• Improve their self-esteem and confidence.
• Reduce isolation and the sense of exclusion.
• Service users become more able to cope with their lives outside the befriending service.
• Increased their social activity
• Explore new skills and opportunities as a result of the changes encouraged and facilitated by the Befriender