Remote Telephone Befriending/Companionship Calls for the over 55s across Mendip
We are looking for more wonderful friendly volunteers to facilitate our expanding service to befriend older people on a one to one basis across Mendip.
Our Volunteer Telephone or Remote Befrienders help improve the quality of life older people across Mendip who are socially isolated and may feel lonely. Our befrienders are introduced to one of our member's with the purpose of them ringing up or making a call through media such as Skype, to have a fun and friendly chit chat for up to an hour to help the person feel less isolated. Keeping connected is particularly important at this time of restricted movements, and shielding people who are vulnerable from transmission of illness by contact.
The aim of our befriending service is to reduce isolation and loneliness, provide a platform for our members to feel part of a nurturing community and support network, but most of all to provide our members with something fun and to look forward to.
If this sounds like you and you like sound of helping out, please read on to acknowledge the role requirements and skills and training we offer to become part of our wonderful team.
Skills and qualities needed for this role require you to be:
- A good listener;
- To have patience, empathy and understanding of the needs of older people;
- Able to keep safe and accurate records of calls made;
- Reliable and punctual;
- Able to be flexible;
- Have a clear sense of personal boundaries;
- Have the ability to provide a supportive and non-judgemental service;
- Willing to engage with training and development provided by MAH;
- Have a good understanding of personal strengths and limitations;
- Able to maintain confidentiality.
Desirable skills for the role will also include being able to use a computer to send in reports, undergo training, and complete administration work.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Establishing and building a friendly and open befriending relationship with the member whilst establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries;
- Spending time talking on the phone / Skype with the member as agreed at the start of the befriending relationship;
- Ensuring that the older persons needs are put first within all communication, whilst respecting the members’ privacy and independence;
- Maintaining confidentiality, except in reporting back to the person that supports you, or in circumstances that will be discussed in your training;
- Notifying the person that supports you of any issues, difficulties or concerns relating to the phone calls, or the well-being of the member;
- Undertaking all training, or support meetings, as agreed with the person who supports you;
- Completing basic reporting and administrative tasks associated with the role. (e.g. Expenses Claim Forms, Record of Calls);
- Informing the person that supports you at the earliest opportunity of any change in circumstances which affect your ability to continue with the telephoning arrangements, such as holidays or periods of time you cannot volunteer;
- To be familiar with and to adhere MHA’s Health and Safety Policies and policies relating to your volunteering role.
MHA Communities will provide you with the following free training and support:
- A full induction for the role;
- Training on safeguarding;
- Training on health and safety;
- Any other training required relevant and appropriate to the role;
- Ongoing support from a named contact;
- Out of pocket expenses in accordance with MHA’s Expenses Policy.
Our overall aim is to combat isolation & loneliness.
We provide a sense of belonging by generating a sense of community and friendship to promote mental wellbeing, mental stimulation, increase confidence, self-worth and prevent further social withdrawal. Most of all, we enjoy seeing our members have fun and take pride in providing services that our members really look forward to.