We offer an intergenerational befriending programme for isolated and lonely older people where we facilitate opportunities for them to connect and develop a friendship with our wide range of community volunteers spanning across the generations. As a result, we see a dramatic improvement in our scheme members well being. We receive a constant steady flow of both referrals of older people (average 25 per month majority from health and social care or authorities i.e. Police) as well as local people of all ages willing to be volunteers for us (8-12 people per induction every 4-6 weeks). The average age of our members is 82 and the bulk of our volunteers age between 20-55 years. We have grown from supporting 50 older people in our first year (2014) to 311 by December 2018.

Please visit the Referrals section of our website if you would like to refer someone to our service http://www.tttb.org.uk/referrals/

Please visit the Volunteers section of our website if you would like to volunteer at Time to Talk befriending http://www.tttb.org.uk/volunteers/

Case Studies: the voice of our scheme members and volunteers benefiting from befriending

From Maurice via his volunteer befriender Chris:

“Maurice is now thriving (he actually said last week that if Time to Talk Befriending hadn’t stepped in, he’d probably not be here now). I’ve managed to get his studio decorated in a few days’ time, he has a new carpet, his step daughter has made repeated contact after 18 years and his attendance allowance (suggested by you) has stopped him fretting over money, so he’s now got a weekly cleaning lady. He gets out to local shops and he has people to say hello to and he loves attending your group befriending event where he has made new friends! It’s all good.” —– From Chris – volunteer befriender (with Maurice’s permission). —–

Emile aged 15 years who visits Nancy aged 91 years (in a pair with Kate also aged 15):

“There are 75 years between us, but we really enjoy visiting her every Wednesday. We have learnt so much about what it was like to live in Brighton in Nancy’s lifetime. She is fascinating! Sometimes she puts out puzzles or games for us to play together. Sometimes we look at photos or just sit and talk. Every visit is different, and we always come away feeling better”.

Charlotte, Time to Talk Befriending Scheme member aged 89 years:

“Before I met you, I didn’t used to care if I lived or died. Now I want to live forever! I never thought I could make such trusted friends at my age.”

Befriending Charlotte (above) by Harriet aged 33 years:

“Whenever I’m asked what it’s like to be part of Time to Talk Befriending, I always want to get across that it is hugely rewarding to be “part of the solution to loneliness and making an impact on someone’s life”. However, personally I don’t feel like I’m giving up anything to spend time with Charlotte who I have been visiting for 3 years now, or that its even a charitable thing! The duality of the benefits to the be-friendship is just as important in my life as it is for Charlotte. There is something underrated about simply making time to sit and have a face to face chat, no technology, no mutual gossip but a connection stripped back to basics of wanting to have a real and quality connection with another human being. I have a hunch that if we dug into why people volunteer for this scheme it would show that we (volunteers) are looking for company in just as much the same way as the members are.”