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Befriending Panel

What is Befriending?

Befriending is a voluntary service that provides companionship and support to people who are lonely or socially isolated. Befrienders are trained volunteers who meet regularly to chat, listen, and offer support. Befriending can help people feel less alone, improve their mental and emotional wellbeing, and connect with their community.

Why might someone need befriending support?

There are many reasons why someone might need befriending support. Some common reasons include:

  • Loneliness: Loneliness is a common problem, especially among older people and people with disabilities. Loneliness can have a negative impact on mental and physical health.
  • Social isolation: Social isolation is the lack of meaningful social connections. People who are socially isolated may be at risk of loneliness, depression, and other health problems.
  • Mental health problems: Mental health problems such as anxiety and depression can make it difficult for people to socialise and maintain relationships. Befriending can provide support and companionship for people with mental health problems.
  • Disability: People with disabilities may face barriers to socialising and connecting with others. Befriending can help people with disabilities overcome these barriers and build social connections.
  • Life changes: Major life changes such as bereavement, divorce, or retirement can lead to loneliness and social isolation. Befriending can provide support and companionship during these difficult times.

What are the benefits of befriending?

Befriending can have several benefits, which can include:

  • Reduced loneliness and social isolation: Befriending can help people feel less alone and more connected to their community.
  • Improved mental and emotional wellbeing: Befriending can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem.
  • Increased social skills and confidence: Befriending can help people develop their social skills and become more confident in social situations.
  • Improved physical health: Studies have shown that befriending can have a positive impact on physical health, such as reducing blood pressure and improving heart health.
  • Improved quality of life: Befriending can help people live happier and more fulfilling lives.

If you are worried about a loved one

If you are worried about a loved one who is lonely or socially isolated, you can encourage them to consider befriending support. You can also help them find a befriending service in their area.

The befriending-related support groups or organisations shown below can either help you directly or provide information and support.

To find out more about how they can help you, please contact them using the phone number, email, or website address they have provided.

Elder Tree Befriending

Elder Tree Befriending is a preventative service that has a physical presence across every neighbourhood in Plymouth. They support people over the age of 50 and champion their continued independent living in their own homes.

Age UK Plymouth

Age UK Plymouth exists to care for and work with older people and their carers in and around the City of Plymouth to improve their quality of life through the promotion of choice, opportunity and independence.

Smeaton Healthcare

Smeaton Healthcare are an award-winning provider in Devon and Cornwall. They offer Care at Home services to adults aged 18 and over, with Dementia, Learning disabilities, Mental health conditions, Physical disabilities and Sensory impairments.

Your Choice Care and Support

Your Choice Care and Support are specialists in providing a professional service to adults and the elderly with care and support needs.

Face 2 Face Befriending Service

Face 2 Face is a service for, and delivered by, parents of children with a special need or disability.

Ivybridge Caring Volunteers

Ivybridge Caring is a voluntary organisation with a mission to promote the independence, physical and mental well-being of older and isolated people within the area of Ivybridge, Cornwood, Lutton, Sparkwell & Harford.

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