Befriending COVID-19 Update
We are starting to look at ways we can get back to a ‘new normal’, resuming some of the activities and services that we were running before lockdown. We have been asking our service users and volunteers how they feel about this and listening to their views.
We are taking things very slowly, preparing the way for these things to happen in safe spaces with small numbers. We are ensuring our venues are compliant with guidelines and will be training staff so they can work with people carefully and confidently.
We will carry on doing the things that have worked well, the Zoom sessions and the phone calls for instance, but we will try to start providing some face-to-face contact for those who are feeling particularly isolated or have less support and would like to do this.
From Monday 27th July we have resumed some one-to-one meetings where these were happening before lockdown. These must be in outside spaces with two metre social distancing in place, if both parties are happy with this. If not, Befriending sessions can continue via telephone contact, Zoom sessions or other virtual meetings.
From the start of September, we hope to be able to give the go ahead for one-to-one meetings to take place in cafes or other venues, depending on government guidelines and only where our volunteers have had our full day befriending training and if both Befriender and Befriendee are happy to do so.
What we do
Our Befriending Service offers short or longer term support to adults who are lonely or isolated as a result of mental illness.
How we work
Our befriending co-ordinators recruit and train volunteers who then form ‘partnerships’ with people from the local community. These can be for 6 or 12 months and can focus on a specific activity or learning a particular skill or purely for regular social contact.
Who do we work with?
Anyone over the age of 18 who is experiencing mental health difficulties (excluding dementia) may be able to use our service.
How to access the service
You can be referred to this service by your GP, the Adult Mental Health Team or other agency.
To find out more about our Fees, please click here.