Engage Befriending.

Connecting isolated, older people with their local community through visits from a volunteer befriender.

Who we are

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Engage Befriending.

Engage Befriending connects isolated older people (55+) with volunteer befrienders in their local community through regular visits. This could be necessary due to ill health, disability, or other reasons leading to isolation or loneliness. Our service is available to people over the age of 55 living in the Reading Borough. People are able to self-refer and we also accept referrals from family/friends and agencies.

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“I have made a new friend and look forward to her visits.”

 

What we do

“…such a valuable service, just seeing someone once a week or so when we wouldn’t usually have much contact, my befriender has been such a support and a good friend.”

We recruit, train and support volunteers to visit an older person in their community for an hour or so on a weekly or fortnightly basis. The client may simply want to chat over a cup of tea or it may be that the befriender supports the client to go out for a coffee, do some shopping or attend an event. We also make people aware of activities, groups and events that may be of interest in their area. These may include lunch clubs, community events and other relevant sources of support or advice.

How to

In 2017:

We supported over 75 matched clients and volunteers.

We recruited and trained 32 new befrienders.

Our volunteers worked over 4000 hours.

91% of clients said they felt less isolated since being introduced to their befriender.

Engage Befriending is part of…

The Mustard Tree is a family of projects seeking to be a voice for the unheard.

We strive to identify, support and empower the misunderstood and overlooked in our local community.

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