The Befriending Service supports LGBT+ people aged over 50 with the aim of reducing social isolation and connect people with other members of their community.

"[My befriendee] is a really remarkable woman and a great inspiration. We have many laughs together and I've introduced her to some of my butch friends. She is rightly keen to share her remarkable story. Thank you again for introducing me to this amazing woman." – Volunteer Befriender

What does it involve?

You will meet someone once a week to every other week for around an hour or two. We will match you with someone who is right for you, where you both have similar interests. We will also come with you to your first couple of visits to help you both get to know each other.

As a befriender you might:

  • Support your befriendee to attend a social group or outing like one of the events we run each month,
  • visit them in their home,
  • go to the cinema with them, or for a walk,
  • assist with tasks such as making cups of tea, reading and general correspondence if appropriate.

Read our role description

"27 January was his 90th birthday. He received one card (from the day centre) and I paid a surprise visit. Otherwise such a remarkable event would have gone completely unnoticed. This is what life is about for many older people. I cannot say how grateful I am for having been given this opportunity." – Volunteer Befriender

As a befriender you will need to:

  • Keep an updated confidential record of all contact, visits and phone calls to report back to the Befriending Coordinator. 
  • Inform the Befriending Coordinator whenever you have any problems or concerns.
  • Attend any relevant peer befrienders’ meetings and training sessions (at least two a year).
  • Meet the Befriending Coordinator at least once a year.

A befriender will not be expected to undertake any task which would normally be done by a paid member of staff.

Want to sign up or hear more?

We are currently not taking on new applications for Volunteer Befrienders as the service is at full capacity.

If you want to become a Volunteer Befriender please fill in our Application Form, Declaration Form and Equalities and Diversity Monitoring Form. Once you have filled them out send them to [email protected]

If you have any questions about being a volunteer befriender please email [email protected] or call 020 7239 0400.