Services

Below you’ll find a short overview and explanation of each of the services that Befriended offers for our clients across Mid-Sussex.

Face to Face Befriending

This is where Befriended began in 2017, with a group of incredible volunteers who gave up an hour each week to visit an elderly, lonely person and spend time with them chatting and getting to know them. Some of our volunteers take their Befriendee’s out to the local garden centre or just to the park. We are keen to match our Befriendee’s with Befriender’s who have similar interests or hobbies so that they have something in common and something to talk about right from the get go. 

Telephone Befriending

In 2020 when suddenly we were unable to let our volunteers visit our clients, we switched to Telephone Befriending and had an influx of both volunteers and referrals. These weekly (or sometimes more regularly) phone calls have been a lifeline for the elderly and lonely across Mid-Sussex, when they have gone weeks without seeing or speaking to anyone. 

Befriended Blether

Another opportunity that arose out of Covid-19 times was for a weekly online chat room for people to join when they wanted to chat about anything that they wanted. Sunday Afternoons are known to be the loneliest time in the week so on Sunday Afternoons we provided a place where older people could phone or zoom in for a chat.  This provides another place for lonely people to gather each week and have meaningful conversations with others living in a similar situation to themselves. 

Befriended Buddies

At the other end of the generations, in 2020, children and young people were thrown into a world of home-schooling and being kept away from their friends. We created a resource to encourage children and young people to engage with the older generations by writing letters, sending pictures or just telling them what they’d been getting up to. We would love to continue sending letters and pictures to our clients as this always puts a smile on their face, feel free to download the pack below and get your kids involved! 

Events

In less Covid-type-times, we regularly run events for our clients to meet with one another, have some food and entertainment especially during the holidays when a lot of people are with their families and friends.  We know that people who are isolated and alone will feel even more isolated and alone at these times of the year.  We have hosted fantastic Christmas Day lunches, summer picnics, afternoon teas and so much more where we have been able to welcome and celebrate with people from all across our communities. 

Acts of Kindness

Even though we haven’t been able to run any events for the last 18 months, we still want people to feel seen and loved at special times in the year.   In partnership with Mid Sussex District Council we hand delivered 180 Easter Baskets filled with treats and goodies, to lonely and isolated individuals across Mid-Sussex. We also delivered Christmas in a Bag,  Afternoon Tea in a Box and will shortly be arranging delivery of some Summer Picnics! 

Bereavement Support

Sadly we have lost a number of our clients during this past year.  For their partners, family or loved ones this can be a very difficult time.  Gail (CEO of Befriended) is a qualified bereavement councillor and offers bereavement support through online and face to face bereavement groups throughout the year.

Chaplaincy

We are all emotional, physical, phycological and spiritual beings.  Often later in life especially when we spend a lot of time on our own we think more about our spiritual beings.  Access to church can often be difficult so Befriended offers a chaplaincy service which brings ‘church’ to you.  This can range from a simple communion, prayers, a service or a bible study.

Signposting

Sometimes Befriended isn’t the right place for some people and we are unable to support or cater to the needs of an individual. Or if someone’s needs change over time, rather than just stopping providing a service to them or not taking them on as a client, we are working with other organisations and partners that may support them better. In these cases, we would love to signpost individuals or their families to another organisation that may be more beneficial to them.