As people age, they can encounter feelings of loneliness and isolation as they lose the ability to get out and about as easily. There are a number of befriending services across Norfolk that can help to alleviate some of these issues, helping elderly people to meet new people, feel part of a group and potentially form lasting friendships.
These services can sometimes be as simple as a weekly phone call or drop-in visit from the same person, or a social coffee morning or befriending group that your relative can attend. For something on a more regular basis, you may wish to look into Elderly Day Care Centres in Norfolk, that can offer many of the same benefits.
West Norfolk Befriending
West Norfolk Befriending is a registered charity that was set up to reduce social isolation and provide a link to the outside world for people. They will match isolated older people with trained, volunteer Befrienders who will visit or call them on a regular basis, free of charge.
Typically, clients can receive befriending visits or telephone calls once every two weeks, although due to the popularity of the service, they are only able to offer each person one year of befriending. Clients and volunteers are closely supported in their befriending match to make sure they will be well suited to one another, which is regularly reviewed by a member of staff throughout the year’s service.
They will also facilitate reintegration to community life wherever possible. People will be frequently signposted to other services and organisations that may be able to help them.
For more details, you can get in touch with them using the details provided below or visit their website.
Cuppa Care Project
The Cuppa Care Project is an initiative by the Rotary Club of Norwich which aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness across Norfolk’s communities. The project has been developed and delivered in partnership with local charities to work on bringing people together to tackle loneliness brought on by age, disability, poverty, or geographical remoteness, among other issues.
There are opportunities across the whole of Norfolk, so take a look at the website for more details and the full list of opportunities. Your elderly relative will be welcome to attend any of them on their own or with a carer, family member, or friend. You can also get in contact via email for further information on getting involved.
Age UK Norfolk Befriending Scheme
Age UK Norfolk has a befriending service for people aged 65 and over, where they will arrange a weekly phone call from a dedicated and friendly volunteer or Befriending Co-Ordinator. They can simply have a stimulating chat, or offer the opportunity to take part in a fun quiz, all of which can ease the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The Befriending service is free for Age UK members. For more information, you can visit their website or get in contact through the details provided below.
EngAge, managed by Age UK Norfolk, is a platform dedicated to activities and learning opportunities for over 50s in Norfolk. Many of these are social activities that can double as befriending services, where older people can bond over a shared love of something, or a new learning experience!
With opportunities all over Norfolk, from knit and knatter groups, to community choirs and exercise classes, as well as something as simple as a coffee morning, there will certainly be something for everyone! Take a look at their website to see everything available, or get in touch with them for more details on the initiative.
ReEngage Call Companions
ReEngage offers a call companion service to elderly people over the age of 75 who are lonely, isolated, or simply in need of some companionship and would enjoy a friendly every week or two.
This is a free service that just requires filling out a short form to get things started. This can be done by the person themselves, a relative, friend, or as a professional referral (with consent).
You can find more details by visiting the website or getting in touch with the contact details provided below.
Other National Telephone Befriending Services
There are many national, telephone befriending services in the UK that can act as an alternative to the local options listed on this page. If this is more like something that you’re after, you can click on each service below to be taken to their website and find more information on what they can offer and how to get involved.