Veronica and Matthew are a couple who live in the Barnsley area and are hoping that a volunteer befriender may be available to pay them a visit and enjoy a chat over a cuppa. Matthew has sight loss and uses a stick as a result of a stroke - this has meant he has lost some confidence and a motivational visit could really make all the difference. Veronica enjoys gardening and used to love going to the theatre and visiting National Trust properties. She is a member of the Cawthorne History Society and ,most recently, has joined a Facebook Knitting Group making clothes for premature babies. They are both feeling quite isolated at the moment and a regular visit to them both would be of huge benefit.

Ideally, you would be a driver with your own transport, as it may be that in time you can go out for a local coffee. Aside from this, no other experience is required, just a caring nature and the ability to chat and listen knowing you are having a positive effect on our member's lifes. Why not apply today and be the friendly face Matthew and Veronica are looking for.....

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.