VC Befriend is the umbrella brand for our range of befriending services for the over 60s. The services available are slightly different in their approach and timespan but all are designed to improve the quality of life for people who may be feeling lonely or in some way excluded from community life. Our range of befriending services include
- Tea Club
- Group Befriending
- One to One Befriending
Q: What is TeaClub?
Our weekly TeaClub service provides the opportunity for people feeling most isolated to start to get out and about again. TeaClub sessions run in local community venues and those attending are transported to and from the venue by volunteer drivers.
Q: Who is TeaClub aimed at?
TeaClub aims to improve the quality of life for those most isolated. You must be aged over 60 years, live in West Dunbartonshire and have been referred by local partners such as a GP or Care at Home Services.
Q: How long can someone attend TeaClub?
TeaClub runs in 8 week blocks. At the end of the 8 weeks we will chat through the experience and can offer either an additional 8 weeks or we can help the person access other services. This can either be with WDCVS or with another agency or provider.
Q: Is there a cost for TeaClub?
There is no charge for attending TeaClub.
Q: What is group befriending?
Our group befriending service offers the opportunity for up to 14 people to enjoy days out supported by trained volunteer befrienders.
Q: Who can access group befriending?
At the moment we provide the service for those living in care facilities or receiving care at home/housing support services. If you are interested please contact us for more details.
Q: What happens on the days out?
Activities vary each month but generally feature either an outing to places such as Helensburgh, Luss and Aberfoyle or a shopping trip to Braehead, Stirling etc. All trips are chosen by the participants.
Q: Is there a cost?
Yes, those attending pay an agreed small donation towards the costs of the trip.
Q: Who can access befriending?
If you are aged over 60 years and have been identified by a referral partner as being social isolated you can access our one-to-one befriending service.
Q: How does it work?
We will meet with the person being referred, find out about their interests and needs and then match them with a trained volunteer befriender. We keep in touch with both the befriender and befriendee regularly to see that everything is going well.
Q: How long can a befriending match last?
That is up to the two people involved! Some matches are short term helping people build confidence to go out into the community alone again or with new friends. Some matches last for a longer time. Also, sometimes volunteers leave the service and other matches need to be made.
Q: Do you need to pay for a befriender?
No, the core befriending service (meeting once per week) is provided free.
Q: Can anyone be a befriender?
We have a broad range of people contact us each year interested in becoming a befriender. Everyone is interviewed and attends our 5 week training course. All of our befrienders are also registered with the PVG Scheme and disclosed appropriately.
Q: What kind of activities can we do as part of a befriending match?
This is really up to the two people involved. Befrienders can help with support for shopping, lunches out, visits to museums and galleries, walking…the list are endless.
Q: Can befrienders be accessed for one off sessions?
Yes, we can on occasion provide a befriender for a one-off or short term purpose such as to help after hospital discharge or as a respite sitter. Please get in touch for more information.
Q: Are volunteers paid?
No, volunteers only receive their out of pocket expenses.
Q: Is the service accredited in any way?
Yes, WDCVS holds the Quality in Befriending Award for the service.
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