Everything we have developed through the Charity has been based on the voice of our older members.

For example, we ask people during group consultations what they would like to benefit from within their community. In addition, we ask people what they feel they would like to benefit from within our face-to-face assessments and reviews with older people.

Whenever a need or gap is identified, or if we are struggling to find volunteers in a particular area on an ongoing basis, we try to think creatively about how we can help people to become socially included rather than continue to be stuck within the four walls of their homes.

Group befriending is an outcome of these findings. Group Befriending varies depending on which area our members reside in. For example, in East Brighton our partnership with St Mary’s Church in Kemptown and Brighton College provides opportunities for intergenerational friendships, fun, and refreshments in the beautiful church setting.

Group Befriending on a larger scale is also made possible for residents in Hove through to Shoreham in West Sussex thanks to a continued collaboration with City Coast Church.

Conversations with Friends

More recently because of survey responses from our members following the pandemic, we have trialled ‘Telephone Group Befriending’. This model is based on examples of national best practice for telephone groups i.e. led by Blind Veterans UK and Independent Age.

The model is based on the 5 ways to wellbeing and History Begins at Home focusing on ‘in the moment’ conversations. The sessions are lightly facilitated to help people to connect positively with each other.

Feedback from a partner (lead provider for a Brighton and Hove Public Health Commission called Ageing Well of which we are sub-contractors, who joined in the first pilot group said:

Lead provider - Ageing Well:

"The facilitation was excellent, with such thoughtful and engaging conversation starters. Charlotte (the facilitator) ensured everybody had an opportunity to talk. It has once again demonstrated what a vital service you’re providing. The isolation and loneliness of those on the call was evident yet eased for this one hour of having the opportunity to talk with others. Sounds like they’re keen to continue their relationships outside of the tea parties, as well as attend future parties. What a triumph!"

Donate today

Contributions for the following amounts will help us to create a sense of belonging for our scheme members through:

Birthday cards

Newsletters and activity packs

Telephone groups

Chaplaincy calls and resources

Comforting befriending phone calls

A brilliant new befriending match!