We aim to reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation in older people living in our community, through the dedication of our volunteers.
Most of our volunteers make regular visits to an older person to befriend them (have a cup of tea and a chat, take them out for a walk, and all kinds of other things), help with their shopping, or help them to declutter their house. Volunteers can also work from home by helping to befriend over the phone, or assisting us with other admin tasks. There are also office based jobs including, but not limited to: data entry, graphic design, organising events, interviewing new volunteers, and assessing new clients.
“As a befriender I have been keeping Arthur company on a Tuesday morning for over three years. We have become firm friends and our regular discussions have covered a wealth of subjects and we have learnt a huge amount from each other. We are currently working together researching Arthur's family history which is proving fascinating and given him a few trips down memory lane!”
Befrienders are matched with older people with an aim to reduce that person’s loneliness and help them to maintain their independence. Volunteers will be introduced to a client who lives close by (preferably in walking distance) and they will make an agreement between each other for how regular the visits will be and what they both want to get out of those visits. This could be as simple as a weekly chat and a cup of tea around the client’s house, or a walk outside or to the local shops. Volunteers are not there to clean the house or help with medication, but most other things are open for discussion.
“In meeting the lady I was `matched` to, I soon came to see that any preconceived ideas I had about the kind of person needing support and for what reasons was a bit narrow. On the surface of it, Joy was fairly busy with various people doing things for and with her- possibly with a more varied life than others in her circumstances. However, in spending time with her, I soon came to understand that regardless of an individual`s situation, there is a level of value and reward to be enjoyed by getting together regularly- for both parties.”
Volunteers who work in the office will gain experience working in a busy environment where creative problem solving is often required. You will learn to work in a team and independently depending on the task you undertake, and we will only ask as much of you as you are willing to give which makes this a great opportunity for someone wanting to re-enter a work environment and possibly rebuild their confidence.
Kent Coast Volunteering Head Office Kent Innovation Centre Millennium Way Broadstairs Kent CT10 2QQ