Loneliness and isolation are two of the major issues people encounter as they get older. Cambridgeshire befriending services can help alleviate some of these feelings as places to meet new people, form lasting friendships and feel part of a group.
Befriending Services could be as simple as a weekly phone call or visit from the same person each week, or joining a befriending group for coffee meetings. You may also want to consider looking into Elderly Day Care Centres in Cambridgeshire as they can provide many of the same things as a Befriending service but on a more regular basis for longer parts of the day.
Age UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Befriending Scheme
Age UK Cambridgeshire & Peterborough operates the Sharing Time Scheme to help reduce isolation and loneliness in the elderly community. By taking part in this initiative your relative will be matched to a DBS checked and trained volunteer who can meet with them every week to do any activity they wish. This might include card and board games, crosswords, helping with the post and correspondence, making phone calls, linking to services, or simply just a conversation over a cuppa.
Volunteers are not allowed to do housework, pay bills, deal with finances, shop or garden on someone’s behalf or do any personal care like pediatary. Your parent can self refer or you can refer on behalf of them. Following a referral a member of the Sharing Team will arrange a visit to discuss needs and to explain more about the service.
- Peterborough – 01733 554963
- Cambridgeshire – 01354 691 898
ReEngage Befriending Scheme
ReEngage has groups that they call Contact Teas dotted around Cambridgeshire. These groups meet monthly at a volunteers house for tea, coffee, chat and in some cases cake! Members are picked up and dropped off at their houses, usually on a Sunday depending on the group.
You can refer someone online using the online form or call one of the coordinators below. There are two organisers in charge of different areas in the county.
St Neots and Peterborough – Sade McCarthy
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 020 8017 6431
Cambourne, St Ives, Huntingdon – Alex Berwick
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: 07949 706 918
EngAge & Cambridgeshire Libraries
EngAge is a partnership between Cambridgeshire Social services and Cambridgeshire Libraries whos goal is to develop new and interesting opportunities and activities for the over 50s.
The activities and groups will be different depending on the library but some examples include:
- Monthly social groups
- Basic computer assistance
- Knit and Natter Knitting groups
- Memory Box – Reminiscence Groups
- Talks for interesting guest speakers
- Exercise groups
Independent Age Cambridgeshire
Independent Age Cambridgeshire have a befriending service that can be done via regular phone calls or home visits. This scheme is completely free for the user and can be made use of for as long or short as is feels necessary.
To get set up on this scheme the elderly person can refer themselves, or can be referred by a member of family or a friend, by calling 0800 319 6789.
Friendly Faces – Peterborough Befriending Services
Friendly Faces is a Peterborough-specific befriending service where volunteers meet up with their friend to have simply have chat over some coffee or for an activity like a trip into the countryside, a walk round the shops or to go to the cinema.
This scheme is only available to Peterborough residents. Use the contact details below to find out more and get set up.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: 07514 043 455
Royal Voluntary Service Befriending Social Club
The Royal Voluntary Service has two befriending social clubs in Cambridgeshire. At these social clubs, elderly people have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of activities including dancing, crafts, gentle exercise and more. More importantly though, these session provide a space to form and nurture new friendships and help stave off some of the loneliness that can come with growing old.
The two clubs in Cambridgeshire are both in villages just out of Cambridge.
- Where? The Village Hall, High Street, Grantchester, Cambridge, CB3 9NF
- When? Thursdays, 3pm – 5pm
- Telephone: 0330 555 0310
Toft Friendship Group
- Where? The Peoples Hall, School Lane, Toft, Cambridge, CB23 2RE
- When? Wednesdays, 2:30pm – 4:30pm
- Telephone: 0330 555 0310
Other National Telephone Befriending Services
If you are unable to find a suitable in-person befriending service for your relative in Cambridgeshire, or you think they would benefit from additional support, there are lots of national charities that offer a telephone befriending service or helpline.
Below is a list of some such services in the UK. Click on a service to be taken to their website explaining more about it and how to access.