Become a volunteer and support your community

Befrienders

Community Support Befrienders

Volunteers required to help Elderly and housebound people in your local area. 

A friendly face and a helping hand can make a huge difference to peoples lives.

Duties may include taking books back to library, a hand with shopping or simply providing company for isolated people.
References and an informal interview are required

Powys Befrienders

Powys Befrienders is a project to improve the independence of people over 50, to maintain their social networks and remain in their own homes for as long as they are able. Clients may need support as a result of an illness, mental distress, disability, bereavement, isolation, loneliness retirement or having recently moved in to the area and having no social network.

Befrienders visit people in their own homes or in the community to provide companionship and support for a maximum of 12 months. They will help to promote personal choice, aim to increase self- respect, support existing personal skills and the development of new opportunities.

In 2001 there were 51,000 people in Powys aged over 50, this is 40% of the population. This figure is forecast to rise to 46% by 2016. 20% of these people have life long limiting illness.
 
Powys Befrienders, which is a lottery funded project with PAVO (Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations) has worked hard over the past nine months and recently been awarded the Qib in recognition of their safe and competent service which is run across Powys.

Who can ask for a befriender?

Basically anyone who is lonely and isolated and needs help to take that first step. The befriender supports that person to reach their goals, so although a cuppa and a chat are vitally important they need to identify that they need support in particular areas of their lives to increase their independence. People can self-refer or be referred by family, statutory or voluntary organisations.

People assume loneliness and isolation are the same and their definition can be very different to the reality of the situation. You can be completely isolated and in a housing estate surrounded by a thousand people, not necessarily out in the sticks. Being lonely is down to how people cope with day to day life. Someone with a carer twice a day or a member of a club could still feel lonely because they are not having meaningful interaction. That can cause a huge amount of loneliness, especially if they are not being listened to.