Keeping in touch with people if you are feeling lonely and isolated has never been more important and this need will increase as the weeks pass.
Existing befriending schemes are now switching from face-to-face to telephone-based befriending. Other voluntary, neighbourhood and community groups are looking into how to make the most of their volunteers to offer telephone befriending to their clients across Reading. New groups are popping up, often at a street level and want to set up telephone befriending.
Volunteer as a telephone befriender
RVA invites anyone wanting to volunteer as a telephone befriender to register as a Coronavirus Response Volunteer, and fill one of the current volunteer opportunities within existing befriending schemes. Or you can sign up to the new NHS Volunteer Responders Team and offer your time to the Check In And Chat service.
Setting up a telephone befriending service
For any organisation wishing to start up or transition to a telephone-based befriending service, look at the training package on the Ready Friends webpage: Training package for befriending schemes
For anyone wanting to set a telephone befriending scheme from scratch, there are lots of important things to think about to make what you are offering safe and reliable for your group, your volunteers and for the people you want to help. You will need to have processes in place around:
- data handling
- volunteer recruitment and induction
- volunteer training, support and supervision
- paying volunteer expenses and managing costs
If you want to set up a new group, look at the training package on the Ready Friends webpage: Training package for befriending schemes
If you find anything in the training materials that you don’t understand or would like more information on, please get in touch with Rhiannon Stocking-Williams, Ready Friends Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.