Befriending is important because:
“I am not sure how much longer I could have gone on without having someone to talk to”.
“I thought that was it for me – I wouldn’t be able to make new friends at my age. That was it – my lot. I am so glad that I don’t have to be alone anymore”.
“It has been lovely to meet my volunteer through the Time to Talk Befriending scheme because she makes me feel inspired to learn new things and share different views, thoughts and opinions about current affairs, interests and life in general. I am housebound and unable to get out to socialise so it is a really good feeling to know that there are people out there who would like to spend time with me.”
“I cannot thank you enough for your support and kindness. You have restored my faith that there are lovely genuine people around”.
Our Volunteers Say:
“Befriending is a extremely rewarding experience which is full of positives”.
“I just absolutely love meeting the lady I befriend every week. She improves my day if anything else and it is such a pleasure being able to spend time with her”.
“I have found the match you made spot on and really rewarding, I get so much out of it myself – it doesn’t feel remotely like ‘duty’. It feels like a lifelong commitment – it is like a friendship not just a ‘befriendship’ – I could never imagine myself stopping seeing my befriendee”.
“ I visit a really lovely lady. It is such a good match!”.
Evidence confirms that:
- Older people are particularly vulnerable to isolation at a time of life which is often characterised by loss (Cattan et al., 2005).
- Changes in modern society can exacerbate social isolation for older people, i.e. increasingly dispersed family networks and a greater reliance of the private sphere with advances in technology, most notably the capability to make social connections through the internet (Buonfino and Hilder, 2006).
- Loneliness is proven to cause early loss of life (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2015).
- Loneliness has a significant impact on an individual’s physical, emotional and mental well-being (Campaign to End Loneliness, 2015).
- Census statistics show that the over 65s comprise 13% of the city’s population of Brighton and Hove equating to 35,692 people of which 11,556 are aged 80+. Most notably, 14,468 (41%) of over 65s are living in single person households (BHCC, 2013) which is a higher proportion than for the population of England and Wales as a whole (31%) (ONS, 2013).
- Owing to the aging nature of the population the 65+ age group is predicted to increase to 39,982 in Brighton and Hove by 2021.
- Since care homes are increasingly becoming a means of last resort for those with high support needs (Lievesley et al., 2011), the proportion of those living alone in the community is likely to increase.