Who are Time To Talk Befriending?

We are a charity motivated to honour and respect older people, providing services which are proven to overcome loneliness and social isolation.

Since our foundation in 2013 we have helped over 2000 local older people to “feel like I’m in the world again”.

To hear more about how our work positively impacts the lives of older people and volunteers please watch our videos or read our latest newsletters


Whilst training as a social worker, our founder, Emily Kenward, became acutely aware that there were large numbers of older people living in Brighton who spent each day alone, often going for days or weeks without seeing or speaking to anyone.

Emily and a team from her local Church worked alongside partners such as Age UK Brighton and Hove, Lifelines Volunteering Matters, University of Sussex Social Work Department, and other local churches to reach, connect, and engage with older people. The hope was to identify their wants and needs with a view to helping them become more socially included within the community. The average age of the participants was 83, and the majority were living alone in local high-rise flats.

During 2011 – 2012 we held two consultation events. At these ‘Honouring Older People’ events, neighbours who hadn’t seen each other for years were reconnecting. They were swapping numbers and sharing stories about how their lives had changed since they had not been able to leave the four walls of their homes without extra support.

The majority of the 94 participants said they felt a deep sense of loneliness and that until we had reached out, they thought they were ‘invisible’. Evidence collected from these events highlighted an overwhelming need to ‘see a friendly face at home’ because ‘before you contacted me, I hadn’t spoken to anyone for months’.

Time to Talk Befriending was founded on the collective voice of these older people who told us they felt ‘invisible’, ‘forgotten’ and ‘alone’.  We are therefore truly thankful to have met these amazing older people whose voice not only formed the foundation of the Charity, but who we were then able to support once the Charity officially founded in December 2013.


The voice of our scheme members and volunteers is at the heart of Time to Talk Befriending.

Thanks to the volunteer support of retired health and social care professionals, we capture satisfaction data and insights from our scheme members and volunteers through regular reviews. These responses are monitored on a monthly basis to identify gaps in provision and areas for growth and development. ​

We are committed to learning from the experiences of older people and, working with organisations such as the University of Sussex, carry out extensive research projects, which can be downloaded here.

We share our research both locally and nationally, and hope that our findings can help to shine a light on the challenges faced by many older people.

Support us today

Your donations and support helps to change lives and overcome loneliness.

Could you support us financially? In doing so you will enable us to positively connect with older people who feel ‘invisible’, ‘forgotten’, and ‘alone’.

Regular monthly or one off donations make a significant difference to our Charity.

We need the generous support of our community, both big and small to improve the lives of society's most lonely, isolated and vulnerable older people.