Befriending for Older People in Kesgrave
by Alan Comber
One in 10 people aged over 65 in Suffolk say they are often or always lonely. Age UK Suffolk runs a befriending service to help alleviate this problem. Telephone befriending is available for older people across Suffolk, but with funding from Councillor Robert Whiting, a visiting befriending service has just been started for clients in Kesgrave and Rushmere St Andrew.
Visiting befriender visits the client's home every week for an hour or so for a friendly chat and also acts as a link to help the client access Age UK Suffolk's services if required. Our befrienders and clients both agree that the service is invaluable — having a befriender, a visiting or a telephone one, makes such a difference in an older person's life, and although it might seem awkward in the beginning, like in any relationship, after a while volunteers and clients are usually chatting like old friends!
Clients really look forward to the time with their volunteer; this is, after all, someone whose sole purpose is to have a chat with the client to brighten up their day. No rush, no agenda, just talking about anything interesting.
If you or someone you care for would benefit from this free service, or if you would like to become a befriending volunteer, please contact Becky, our befriending coordinator: 01473 353061 / firstname.lastname@example.org