Older age can be lonely. Circumstances may have changed and your elderly relative may be particularly vulnerable after a partner or close friend has died, or family have had to move away.
Fortunately across Berkshire, there a number of befriending schemes in place to make sure no resident feels isolated.
Befriending takes different forms: speaking over the telephone, home visits and support groups. As well as improving the emotional wellbeing of your elderly relative, befriending can bring peace of mind for you. You know that someone is checking in and offering companionship.
This guide will outline what is available across Berkshire. As well as befriending services, there are other ways for the elderly to avoid loneliness. You may want to take a look at lunch clubs in Berkshire and day care centres in Berkshire. For help getting out and about to meet others, you may be interested in community transport schemes in Berkshire.
- Age UK Berkshire Befriending
- Age UK Reading Befriending
- Re-Engage Berkshire
- Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East Companion Centres
Find Local Befriending Services Across Berkshire:
Age UK Berkshire Befriending
Age UK Berkshire provide a free befriending service in Reading, Bracknell and West Berkshire. A team of volunteers visit clients in their own homes or speak to them over the telephone. This friendly conversation gives engagement and companionship, breaking the cycle of loneliness.
Telephone befriending is available to anyone living in the whole Berkshire area. This can work well for anyone who simply wants to talk to someone on a regular basis. For those with sensory issues or dementia, home visits are recommended.
Age UK Reading Befriending
Age UK Reading match volunteer befrienders with older people in the community. They visit or call on a regular basis to provide companionship, for about an hour each week. All volunteers are DBS checked.
Telephone: 0118 9502480
Re-Engage is a national charity devoted to combating loneliness among the over 75s. Across Berkshire, Re-Engage run social support groups and the calls companion service.
Social groups are based in Bracknell, Burnham, Maidenhead, Reading, Newbury, Slough, Wokingham, Woodley. You can view group locations using Re-Engage’s interactive map, and entering a postcode. These groups have monthly gatherings, with transport provided if need be. All groups have a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. Suzan Hyland co-ordinates all groups across Berkshire, her contact details can be found below.
The calls companion programme connects volunteers with elderly people based on common interests. A mutually agreed time is arranged for regular friendly and informal chats. You can apply by filling out this online form.
Telephone: 0207 881 2361
Age Concern Slough & Berkshire East Companion Centres
Age Concern run Companion Centres to combat loneliness, around East Berkshire, Maidenhead, Slough and Windsor. A welcoming environment is provided for all. There is the chance to join in with a range of activities, have a hot meal and make new friends.
Cippenham Companion Centre
Address: Cippenham Companion Centre, The Royal British Legion, Brook Path, Cippenham, Slough, SL1 5EJ
Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 9am – 3pm
Telephone: 07954 042071
Old Windsor Companion Centre
Address: Old Windsor Day Centre, 27b Straight Road, Old Windsor, SL4 2RW
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm
Telephone: 01753 854117
St Marks Companion Centre
Address: St Marks Methodist Church, Allenby Road, Maidenhead, SL6 5BQ
Opening hours: Tuesdays, 10am – 3pm
Telephone: 01753 822890
Wexham Companion Centre
Address: Wexham Court Parish Hall, Norway Drive, Slough, SL2 5QP
Opening hours: Tuesdays & Wednesday, 9am – 3pm
Telephone: 01753 822890