“I look forward to my chats with my befriender. I know she will always ring me and want to help me.”


“I look forward to my chats with my befriender. I know she will always ring me and want to help me.”

Home 5 About us 5 Befriending

What is Befriending?

Befriending is a term used to describe a matched friendship between a client and a trained volunteer. We like to call this our Befriending Service. 

It can be whatever you make it and wish it to be. We will help facilitate either a one to one session, trips out together or over the telephone. You can decide how often you meet up and what social activities you do.

Who is this service for?

Our Befriending Service is available to anyone, living in Essex, over the age of 18.

This includes people in later years, carers and those living with:

  • Sensory impairments
  • Impairment disability
  • Dementia
  • Autism
  • Learning Disability
  • Mental Health Problems 
  • Long-term conditions 

How does it work?

Step one: Fill out our referral form through the Essex Wellbeing Service. You can do this yourself or for someone you know. 

Step two: One of our expert Friendship Coordinators will be in touch to learn more about you and your interests. They will ask you questions about where you live and what you would like to achieve from your new friendship. This can be done over the telephone or in your own home. 

Step three: We will match you with one of our volunteer friends. They will match your personality, share the same interests, may live close by and be available when it suits you. 

Step four: We will introduce you to each other at a convenient location: usually at your home or local coffee shop. 

Step five: Once you have told us you are happy, you can continue at your own leisure and pace.

This service is tailored to you and we want you to feel comfortable and get the most out of the experience. You can contact us at any point. Our volunteers are DBS checked and provide  references so that we can maintain a safe and high-quality service.

Step six: After 6 weeks, we will send you a confidential monitoring form to see how it is going or check if you have any questions. We will keep in touch and if you wish, we can arrange a rematch with a new volunteer friend.

For more information, please call 0300 303 9988.

Find groups and events

We run and find suitable groups and activities across Essex to help you connect with others. Take part in activities such as dancing, arts and crafts, light sports or knitting and start living happier and healthier.

Community & friendship

Discover how we connect people and communities in Essex, and find a volunteer friend living near you.

Become a Volunteer

Make a difference to people in their later years by becoming a Volunteer. We offer a variety of positions and a supportive team.

We can make a real difference to you or someone you know.

We are here for people in later years. We empower you to live happier and healthier.