Our Befriending Service offers support and friendship to members of the community with different degrees of hearing loss. This includes those who are profoundly deaf, BSL users or are hard of hearing.
We provide personal support and companionship to people experiencing social and emotional isolation due to hearing loss and other physical, mental or medical conditions, through a personally tailored befriender-befriendee pairing.
Our aim is to enable our service users to overcome the problems and difficulties associated with hearing loss, giving them greater independence. The provision of this support can be practical, social, or informative, based upon the befriendee’s individual needs.
Through this support we are striving to achieve the following outcomes for our service users:
- Increased social activity, utilising new skills and opportunities.
- Reduced isolation, stress, and anxiety.
- Improved confidence, self-esteem, and family and social relationships.
- Feeling listened to and understood.
- Increased ability to cope with life outside the Befriending Service.
We welcome referrals from Social Services, GP Practices, Hospitals, community organisations, friends and relatives or self-referrals from individuals who feel they would benefit from this kind of support. We befriend service users living in their own homes, in sheltered housing, or in residential or nursing homes.
All befrienders undergo an initial training programme to equip them with the skills required for the role and further training is provided at least twice per year in order to maintain professional standards when working with vulnerable service users. Many befrienders are users of BSL and we make efforts to support our volunteers in enhancing their BSL skills.