Our Befriending Service offers a much-needed lifeline to older people who are lonely and isolated. It is recognised that loneliness can lead to depression and in turn, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and the withdrawal from social groups and activities.
Our volunteer befrienders are there to offer company and friendship to those who are, primarily, living on their own. We at Friendship at Home work on a one to one basis, which means strong bonds are formed between the member and their befriender. The service ensures, through careful matching with our volunteers, that they have something in common – which is a foundation on which to build.
The benefits of having someone to sit and talk to, share a trip to the garden centre, read a book or play a game of cards, can really make a difference to an older person’s wellbeing.
We offer befriending either in the member’s own home, or in a residential home setting. It is apparent that although people are placed in residential care, some may still feel loneliness and isolation. We now have our volunteer befrienders who spend one-to one time with those who need it in several care homes with in North East Lincolnshire.
We also offer our befriending service for older people with mild to moderate memory impairments. For those who do not have many visitors, a regular visitor who can offer stimulating conversation can be very beneficial, and many of our members enjoy reminiscing about old times with their befriender. All of our volunteer befrienders attend training to ensure that they develop a good understanding of Dementia.
For those who would prefer a telephone call – in addition to, or instead of a home visitor – we now offer our Telephone Befriending service. Members will receive a regular phone call from one of our volunteers, who can lend a friendly ear, offer reassurance or simply be there for a long chat! Many people that are isolated find that just having someone checking in and seeing how they are really boosts their mood.
These weekly social clubs are held in central locations for people aged 60 plus, and offer access to information, advice, support and social activities. The key function of the clubs is to give our members somewhere to meet where they feel safe and valued, and also gives them the opportunity to meet new people. Many of our members have formed solid friendships and now meet up not only at our clubs, but outside of them as well!
Being a member of a club ensures that all of the older people know that they will leave their homes at least once per week, that someone is expecting them and most importantly that there are people who care.
We have a variety of Friendship Clubs, from bingo groups or clubs that focus on socialising, to a club for those with memory concerns.
All of our club members will also have access to our day trips throughout the year. Our past day trips have included Brigg Garden Centre, Doncaster, Ripon, Millstones at Harrogate, Lincolnshire Home & Antiques Show and Scarborough – to name a few!
Friendship at Home’s New Age Kurling class on a Monday morning is a popular club, with teams often taking part in competitions organised by our local Older People’s Collaborative. This increases social participation and is a lot of fun for our members!
Our Shibashi class on a Tuesday morning is a gentle method of Tai Chi, and is very simple to learn. The class is very calming and can help to reduce stress, and improve both co-ordination and balance.
We also offer a Chair Based exercise class on a Friday morning. This class is run so that older people can do low-intensity exercise with the motivation of a group, but from the comfort of a chair.
All of our exercise classes are designed for over 60s of all abilities and are not too strenuous.