As a volunteer Befriender you will offer support and friendship to help improve the quality of life of someone with a learning disability and/or autism. Some clients may also have a physical or sensory disability, and/or mental health needs.
Befrienders will meet our clients outside their homes, and go out locally together to do an activity of the client’s choice. This could be going for a walk, getting a cup of tea and cake, cycling around the park or helping with grocery shopping. You will be matched with one or two of our clients and will meet them each week for an hour or two - either during the week, in an evening or at the weekend.
This is an exciting project that we launched in response to the impact that prolonged periods of isolation have had on those who are vulnerable within our community. You’ll give people the opportunity to have regular valuable contact with someone outside their immediate support bubble, therefore helping them to feel less alone during a time which is so uncertain.
You’ll support people to maintain positive mental health and encourage communication on meaningful topics or shared interests, helping to promote positive outlooks and raised confidence.
Ideally we’d like our befrienders to commit to visiting one (potential increasing to two depending on your commitments) clients a week, and spending up to two hours with them. We are asking for a commitment of at least 6 months to enable us to give stability to our clients.
Who we are looking for
There are many qualities and characteristics that create a strong and valuable befriender. We are looking for volunteers who are:
- Good listeners
- Understand how a learning disability can impact life
- Able to approach new people without prejudice
- Honest and trustworthy
- Committed and reliable
- Respectful of confidentiality
- Friendly and warm
- Empathetic and compassionate
- Professional in their approach
- Able to offer caring and understanding presence
- Local to Wandsworth or Lambeth, or willing to travel there
We really value our volunteers so in return for you giving up your time for us, you can expect:
- A warm welcome into our organisation
- A comprehensive online group induction and training session
- On-going support from staff
- An opportunity to develop new skills and add to your CV
- A reference for your time with us
- Reimbursement of travel expenses within zone 1 – 6 and reasonable out of pocket expenses towards refreshments or activities
- Invitations to all our events, such as our garden parties, away days, Christmas parties and awards ceremony
- The opportunity to have your say in our annual volunteer survey
- A genuine opportunity to make a difference and become part of our friendly community
Please download and fill in our short application form on our website.