Everybody should have somebody. Together Co Befriending matches people with people to create friendships that make life better.
Since the 1990s, originally operating as the Neighbourhood Care Scheme in Brighton & Hove, we have been fighting loneliness across our city by making matches that last. We carefully match people with visiting befrienders in the neighbourhood or can match people for telephone calls if preferred.
In 2020-21 our volunteers provided over 15,000 hours of befriending support across the city, and we worked closely with Brighton and Hove City Council’s COVID-19 Community Hub to reach those who were most in need. We also have a partnership with Lunch Positive for HIV befriending.
We help people living in Brighton and Hove experiencing chronic loneliness and are aged over 50 or have a physical or sensory disability or are a full-time carer. Increasingly we are helping people living with mental health difficulties.
What does the opportunity involve doing?
For many people experiencing loneliness, a reliable phonecall each week can make all the difference in the world.
We are looking for people who are not only good at conversation but who are also good listeners who can spare around an hour each week to make a phonecall to an isolated person.
Full training is given on general befriending including boundaries and safeguarding, and we can also provide conversational tips and help.
We can reimburse telephone costs incurred.
What induction, training and support is offered?
We offer a comprehensive programme of training, both online and in person, volunteer socials and events.
Many of our volunteers have used this opportunity as a springboard into working with older people or within the third sector.
The benefits of this opportunity include;
Initial induction training covering all aspects of befriending including safeguarding and boundaries;
A programme of ongoing volunteer training events including active listening courses, mental health awareness and dementia awareness.
Volunteer peer support sessions, socials and events such as the Platinum Jubilee.
Being part of a team of almost 300 volunteers across the city fighting loneliness and social isolation.
Support from your Befriending Coordinator – just a phone call or email away providing you a personal contact so support is available when you need it.
Opportunities to contribute towards the future direction of the charity through the Befriending Steering group which meets regularly.
Regular communications, newsletters and training updates.
What skills or qualities are needed?
We offer a comprehensive induction training programme, however the following skills will be useful:
Strong listening skills and the ability to chat easily
Honesty and reliability
Respect for confidentiality
Friendliness and warmth
Basic IT skills would be advantageous
We ask for a minimum commitment of an hour a week for at least six months.
Out of pocket expenses for travel and telephone can be reimbursed.
We are currently only taking applications from people living in East or West Sussex.
The minimum age for befrienders is 18 years.More info
4th May 2022
Can be done at home
Deadline for applications
5 May 2026
Carers Older people People with mental health problems