The Befriender's Role.
Volunteer Befrienders visit clients in their own homes on a regular basis, whilst working under the guidance of Hand of Solace Befriending Service.
We recruit our volunteers from all walks of life, all backgrounds.
Once a Volunteer befriender application form is received, two references are taken up. You must complete a DBS (criminal record) check paid for by Hand of Solace. Upon a satisfactory DBS, you will undertake our initial Induction trainings before your befriending matching. Our Volunteers receive initial and on-going training and support.
A Befriender must be over 18 years old and have an interest in helping people.
Wherever possible a befriender is matched with a service user who has similar interests. The matching is reviewed regularly and is for a maximum of one year with any one client. Some befrienders have more than one befriendee.
The support a befriender gives will depend on the needs of the service user. It will include good conversation, but may include the occasional trip out or the opportunity to participate in social activities.
The Befrienders do not replace home helps or carers and do not undertake manual tasks or shopping.
Enjoyment of social contact
Ability to motivate and encourage others
Sense of humour
Honest and reliability
Patience and understanding
The benefits of being a Befriender include opportunities to meet new people, free training and support, increased confidence and self-esteem and the ‘feel good factor’.
We ask volunteers to be willing to give a minimum of one hour of their time per fortnight, for at least one year. Befrienders are asked to attend initial induction trainings, social events with befriendees, and training and support sessions. Volunteers must respect Client Confidentiality and establish and maintain appropriate boundaries. The Volunteers coordinator must be informed of any concerns relating to the befriendee. Befrienders are asked to respect different cultural values and work in a non-discriminatory manner. They are understanding, rather than judgmental about a client’s situation and circumstances.