Role title: Befriender
Line manager: Befriending Coordinator
Location: Leckhampton Court Hospice, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. GL530QJ
We are looking for volunteer befrienders to join our team offering supportive, reliable befriending visits to people living in their own homes, with a life limiting condition, who may be socially isolated and lonely.
As a volunteer befriender you will support one or more service users who are living with life limiting illness. You will need to be warm and friendly, discrete, calm, flexible, empathic and non-judgemental. It is also important to be able to offer a commitment over time to regularly visit a person in their own home on a one-to-one basis. The Befriending Coordinator will have assessed the person already and will be your point of contact and support in your role as a volunteer befriender.
What tasks might be involved?
- Visiting someone in their home
- Providing telephone support
- Taking the person out on short trips (e.g. to go shopping, for coffee, to the cinema)
- Providing carers with a break
- Practical help (e.g. light shopping, gardening, writing a letter).
What will be required of you?
- To complete the Sue Ryder Befriender training course
- To complete a DBS check
- To regularly visit or call the person you are matched with
- To attend befriender support meetings at the hospice
- To follow procedures in dealing with confidential and sensitive material
- To complete a brief report on each visit
- To report any concerns to the befriending co-ordinator.
What training and support is provided?
- An initial half day training course
- Ongoing training, as required
- Regular and ongoing support from the befriending co-ordinator
- Monthly support meetings with fellow befrienders
- Mileage is reimbursed.
Each befriending relationship will be different and we will do our best to match you to a befriendee with compatible interests.
Ideally you will engage with the project for a minimum of six months to make full use of the training and support on offer and to provide consistency for the service user.
Hours are flexible but regular weekly slots can be arranged to suit. As a guide, we ask each volunteer to commit to one befriending visit per week, but this is flexible.
Skills and Qualities required
• Good listening and communication skills are essential
• A caring, sympathetic, sensitive manner and a non-judgemental approach.
• Commitment to understanding the needs of people living with life limiting illness.
• A positive outlook and enthusiasm for befriending
• Willingness to work without direct supervision
• Flexibility to approach a number of varied tasks
• Reliable, flexible and committed to ensuring a high standard of befriending
• A passion for the work of Sue Ryder and the hospice
Understanding of confidentiality and how it affects the befriending relationship, whilst adhering to Sue Ryder’s policies and protocols.
Experience of caring either in a paid or unpaid capacity would be an advantage but is not essential. We will select volunteers via interview and our training programme.
Gain practical experience of volunteering with people who have life-limiting conditions
Volunteer within our local community
Meet new people
Receive training and support
Enhance your skills, and your CV
Make a meaningful difference to those with a life-limiting condition, and their family.