Age UK South Staffordshire are seeking Befriending Volunteers for their Care Navigation South Staffordshire Service.
The purpose of the role is to visit an Age UK South Staffordshire client who may be housebound, isolated or lonely in their own homes, to share interests, chat or, depending on mobility, go for walks or attend social events. And to telephone clients who may be housebound, isolated or lonely and have a chat, share interests.
However, befriending is not about dependence; it is about acceptance and choice. Befriending should not take the place of other services such as home help, a personal carer or counsellor.
What does the role of a Befriending Volunteer entail?
• To visit or call on a regular basis, to listen, chat, to be encouraging and to build the confidence of the older person allowing them to be independent.
• To make a brief record of each visit and return to Volunteer Coordinator monthly.
• To offer signposting and information sources via the Volunteer Coordinator.
• To make appropriate referrals through the Volunteer Coordinator to other Age UK SS services and services of partners.
• To listen to concerns and refer these to the Volunteer Coordinator if necessary.
This role will take about 4 hours a month at a time agreeable to both the volunteer and client.
All volunteers are invited to attend initial training in such aspects as confidentiality, safeguarding procedures and listening skills. Subsequent training sessions will occur as part of a schedule.
The volunteers will be supervised and supported by the Volunteer Coordinator who is a member of the Community Services team. Any concerns can be referred to the Volunteer Coordinator.
Telephone befriending is encouraged to take place from the befriender’s home. Telephone call expenses will be processed through the Volunteer Coordinator, on receipt of a completed expenses form with an itemised phone bill with the relevant phone calls highlighted. Travel expenses to and from the clients home will also be processed on receipt of a completed volunteer expenses form.
There is currently a particular focus on Wombourne as there are currently clients waiting to be matched with volunteers.
DBS checks and 2 satisfactory references are required to become a Befriending Volunteer.
The Care Navigation Service is a free service which aims to support older people who are undergoing change in their lives and may need information and support accessing services.
Referrals to the service are made directly to the Age UK South Staffs Care Navigator via health care professionals. Patients registered at the following surgeries can be referred:
- Wombourne Gravel Hill Medical Practice
- Wombourne Dale Medical Practice
- Kinver Moss Grove Surgery
- Claverley Practice (including the Pattingham branch surgery)
- Penkridge Surgery
- Brewood Medical Practice (including the Wheaton Aston and Coven branch Surgeries)
One of the many aims of the service and where the volunteers become involved is reducing social isolation.