Older people are often more likely to feel lonely and socially isolated than any other members of the population. This can be for a range of reasons, including going out less or being less mobile. This is particularly difficult when older people live far away from their family.
To combat this, there are many befriending services operating in Essex. Befriending services provide someone for older people to talk to, be it by email, telephone or in person. Another option is Day Care Centres in Essex – which allow elderly people to be looked after during the day in a safe, social, and comfortable environment.
On this page we have listed all of the befriending services available for older people in Essex.
Find Local Befriending Services Across Essex
Essex Befriends is a countywide befriending scheme that emerged through the collaboration of Action for Family Carers, Mind in West Essex, the Hamelin Trust and Independent Age. They offer a free service to older people and to those with mental ill health, offering telephone, face-to-face and email befriending.
They also offer a befriending service to Carers such as yourself, if you are feeling lonely, isolated, or are struggling in your caring role.
You can refer your relative or yourself to their services by filling out this Online Form.
Telephone: 0300 770 1263
Age UK Essex
Age UK Essex offer a countywide befriending service for people over the age of 60 to minimise their feelings of loneliness or isolation. You can choose from telephone calls or home visits, where one of their screened and trained befrienders will come and share a cup of tea with your relative in their home.
Telephone: 01268 525 353
Age UK Thurock
Funded by Thurrock Council, residents of Thurrock who are over 60 have a separate befriending service. As well as telephone befriending and home visits, they also run an Active Befriending scheme where one of their trained and vetted befrienders can accompany your relative out of the house to an activity of choice where possible.
Telephone: 01708 866 684
The two Age Concern groups in Essex also run local befriending services for their older residents, to prevent them from feeling lonely. Their services are for the over 60s and are available in your relative’s home, or over the phone.
Age Concern Colchester
Telephone: 01206 368420 (option 3)
Age Concern Southend
Telephone: 01702 345373.
Re-Engage Social Groups
Re-Engage run social groups in Essex where older people can meet up and chat over a cup of tea or coffee. The groups usually meet monthly, and cover most of the Essex area, including Brentwood, Basildon, Chelmsford, Epping, Harlow and Southend.
You can find the group nearest to your relative by entering their postcode on the Online Map on the Re-Engage Website.
Telephone: 0800 716543
Voluntary Action Epping Forest Befriending
Voluntary Action Epping Forest Befriending run social groups 3 times a week for older people who are feeling lonely or isolated. As well as offering weekly social clubs, Voluntary Action Epping Forest Befriending organise fortnightly day trips which include visits to the theatre, cinema and more.
They also provide a volunteer home visit befriending service for people in the Epping area.
Telephone: 01992 284 762