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Have a huge positive impact on someone’s life by just picking up the phone

Befriending / Visiting volunteers needed for Age UK Reading in RG30

We are seeking volunteer to help improve the quality of life for older people who live in the Reading area by providing friendship and support as part of the Age UK Reading Befriending Scheme. Many older people experience chronic loneliness in later life and, as a result, experience a decline in wellbeing and associated health impacts. Age UK’s Befriending service is there to offer human contact, warmth, and access to a support network for these people.

A volunteer Telephone Befriender is sought to join our team of volunteer Befrienders.

Telephone Befrienders call one or more older people once a week on a regular basis for a chat, checking in on how they are doing and reporting back any concerns. Each call takes no more than 20 minutes and the number of different befriendees a befriender calls each week is agreed with the volunteer, according to their availability.


If during the working week, the calls can be made from the Age UK Reading office on Portman Road. These calls can also be made from the volunteer’s own telephone from another location, if the volunteer has free minutes within their phone contract. The volunteer’s phone number will be withheld if making calls this way.

Key Responsibilities:

1. Undergo an initial induction process
2. Telephone the clients on a regular basis that has been mutually agreed
3. Adhere to the policies and procedures of Age UK Reading
4. Maintain appropriate boundaries of confidentiality with clients, colleagues and volunteers
5. Complete client telephone forms after each contact and forward to the co-ordinator
6. Complete monthly expense sheets as appropriate
7. Attend training courses and one to one meetings as necessary
8. Pass any concerns relating to clients to the co-ordinator as soon as they become apparent.


1. Make a regular commitment to the befriending service
2. Willingness to undertake further training and supervision if required
3. Willingness to take part in twice yearly one to one session with the co-ordinator
4. Always remember that the main reason for visiting is to provide companionship and to be a “listening ear”. If the client needs practical help then add this fact to the client visit form.

Training and support:

In addition to safeguarding training other opportunities will be available from time to time. Support is available from the befriending co-ordinator.

Would suit:

A warm and caring person who has an empathy with the elderly and can chat on a diversity of topics.


Essential Knowledge and skills:

1. An understanding and recognition of abuse and the forms it may take
2. An understanding of the need for client confidentiality
3. An understanding of the need to maintain safe working boundaries when dealing with clients

Desirable Knowledge and skills:

1. Warmth, understanding and sensitivity
2. The ability to be supportive and non-judgemental regardless of age, race, sexuality, religion or disability
3. Good listening skills

Staying Safe:

You will be asked to undertake a DBS check up to barring list level under adult workforce.

Contact person firstname
Maddie Hallwood , Befriending Development Co-ordinator
Contact person's position
Their phone number?
Location address line 1
Age UK Reading
Line 2
42, Portman Road
RG30 1EA

Location description
From home or from Age UK Reading Office
Wheelchair accessible?
Car parking for the volunteer?
Secure bicycle parking?
Near public transport?
How much time?
A few hours a week
What times and days of the week?
Mon AMMon PMTue AMTue PMWed AMWed PMThu AMThu PMFri AMFri PMSat AMSat PMSun AMSun PM
Availability required
Any of these times
Task type?
Befriending / Visiting
Will suit someone like this:
Self organised/motivatedGood sense of humourSociablePatientCommunicator
Post suitable for supported volunteering?
Not specified
Is training given?
Training description
Induction, training, Safeguarding
Is support given?
Description of support
Support will be provided by the Befriending Co-ordinator on at least a weekly basis, plus ongoing support from the rest of the Age UK Reading team
Are expenses paid?
Description of expenses
Travel expenses
Will I need my own transportation?
Will the volunteer be CRB or DBS checked?
Are references required?
Will there be an interview?
Are they properly insured?
Minimum age
Do they need a specific gender?
How many volunteers needed?
Opportunity added on
4 June 2020

Read more about Age UK Reading