Enjoy a cuppa with Christine!

Christine lives with her two cats in the Barnsley area and is looking for a friendly volunteer to pay her a visit once a week. Due to her combined sight and hearing loss, she finds herself spending more and more time alone at home and is increasingly feeling lonely and cut off from her local community. She is quite isolated, live alones and doesn’t get the opportunity to go out much. Christine is a great animal lover and used to enjoy visits to zoos and farms whenever she could. She is hoping someone with similar interests could accompany her out for a coffee and perhaps give her some guidance around using online shopping sites.

You don’t need experience to become one of our Home Befriending volunteers - you just need to be comfortable talking with others and have a genuine interest in people. Our members are some of the most isolated people in our community and a regular visit can make a real impact on their lives and wellbeing.

Apply today and be the positive difference in Christine's life.

We welcome all applications during this time and where possible, will start all befriending roles by phone until such time as face to face visits can resume.

What is a Volunteer Befriender?

A Volunteer Home or Social Befriender will regularly visit a deafblind person in their own home or at another mutually convenient location to engage in or support them in social, leisure and practical activities as appropriate, to build and maintain social interaction and independence. Thus, breaking isolation and improving their quality of life.

The activities which may include:

Engaging in conversation or other activities as appropriate to build and maintain friendship e.g. chat and a cup of tea or going for local walks.
Providing information about local leisure opportunities and transport options
Accompanying the person to the first few meetings of one or more social or leisure groups or activities in the local community, e.g. the W.I., swimming pool, University of the 3rd Age, community walking groups, a local deafblind group or activity

What’s involved?

As a Volunteer Home/Social Befriender your role will be:

Establishing and building a befriending relationship and enabling our member to socialise and link to social events within the community
To visit an identified person at a mutually convenient time and place to engage in activities as described above and appropriate to normal companionship (Deafblind UK will work to match you with an individual with similar interests who would benefit from your life experiences)
To provide advice and guidance to the member at a level appropriate within a mutual companionship.
To supervise the member as required in specific tasks ie gardening.
To take charge of communication and guiding support as needed with the member to enable local walks, or enable them to access activities at their chosen meeting location
Providing regular updates of your volunteering activity to your Deafblind UK named contact

What times do I need to commit to?

This role requires a regular commitment of time to regularly visit our member, normally weekly at a mutually convenient time and place.

The role will suit people who are …

Willing to share their own personal interests with our member who have the same or similar interests
Willing to engage in conversations with our members to share interests
Willing to learn communication and guiding techniques to meet the needs of our members with combined sight and hearing loss (full training will be provided)
You must be over 18 to take up this role

What are the benefits to you?

Opportunities to meet like-minded people in your community
Be part of a friendly, supportive and dedicated team
The satisfaction of knowing you will be making a difference to real people’s lives
New communications skills
Establishing positive employability skills to help you in your career path

How do we support you?

We ensure all volunteers who join our team are well equipped to undertake any tasks and will provide training and supervision throughout your journey with us. Any specific training will be outlined within your onboarding and induction stages and then discussed at your reviews with your Deafblind UK named contact.