Sometimes, older age can prove lonely. This is particularly true when a partner dies or family live a way away. Fortunately, in Surrey, there is a wealth of befriending services to ensure no elderly resident should feel alone.
Befriending services can be reassuring and bring peace of mind to concerned relatives. There are different methods of communicating to suit the individual: speaking over the telephone, home visits and group meetings.
This guide will outline the options available in Surrey. In addition to befriending services, there are other ways to meet new people in Surrey. You may also be interested in Lunch Clubs in Surrey and Day Care Centres in Surrey.
Surrey Age UK Befriending Service
The Surrey Age UK befriending service aims to enable older people to stay independent and in touch with their local community.
Experienced co-ordinators of the service match elderly people with a local volunteer who can visit in the home, or accompany to community activities. Depending on preference, volunteers can also connect and support through Skype or telephone.
There is no cost for the befriending service. However, it is asked that any out of pocket expenses incurred by volunteers such as mileage to an activity, lunch or parking is covered by clients.
Telephone: 01483 503414
Surrey Age Concern Befriending Service
Most Age Concern groups merged with Age UK in 2009. However 3 small, local Age Concern charities remain in Surrey, and work independently to fight loneliness in elderly communities.
Age Concern Banstead provide a visiting service to those who have difficulty getting out and about. Volunteers can pop in for a cup of tea and chat on a regular basis. There is no charge for this service and it is available across the wider Reigate and Banstead Borough Council area.
Telephone: 01737 352156
Surrey Heath Age Concern match visitors with older people as part of their visiting & befriending scheme. The aim is to help people maintain their independence and reducing loneliness as visitors provide companionship and check-ups.
The charity also runs the Rainbow Cafe in Camberley town centre. The cafe provides a meeting place for elderly people to call in for a chat and form new friendships. There is a warm and friendly atmosphere, and customers can drop in any time between 10am – 3pm, Monday to Saturday. Refreshments are available at a reasonable cost.
Address of Rainbow Cafe: The Square, Albert Road, Camberley, GU15 3RP
Telephone: 07902 772585
Woking Age Concern aims to alleviate feelings of loneliness through regular visits by volunteers. They can also arrange for ‘short-term friends’ to cover when other volunteers or family are on holiday.
Woking Age Concern organise two social events a year for clients and volunteers: a Christmas party and a summer party in June. Both events are free and enjoyed by all each year.
Telephone: 01483 770753
Friends of the Elderly Visiting Service in Woking
Friends of the Elderly run a home visiting service for elderly people who live alone in the Woking area. Volunteers will take time to listen, chat about current affairs and share life’s ups and downs. This has often proved to result in greater confidence to get out and about in the local community. The service is free, please get in touch if you are interested using the details below.
Telephone: 020 7730 8263
Online Contact Form
Re-Engage is a charity committed to fighting loneliness among the over 75s. Re-Engage runs 18 social groups across Surrey and the calls companion programme.
The calls companion programme matches volunteers with an older person. Re-Engage try to make the best possible match so ask for hobbies and interests when making the match.
A mutually agreed time is arranged for warm, friendly and informal chats a few times a month. Generally these chats last around half an hour. Over time, volunteers and the older person they are paired with get to know each other well. Together, stories can be shared bringing laughter as well as vital support being offered. You can apply by filling out this online form.
Re-Engage also run local social groups which host monthly gatherings. Transport is provided to and from groups and new members are always made to feel really welcome.
Sade McCarthy co-ordinates the 18 Re-Engage social groups across Surrey. You can view group locations using ReEngane’s interactive map, and entering a postcode. To get involved, please contact Sade using her details below. Alternatively, you can also fill out this online form.
Telephone: 020 8017 6431