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For many older people who live alone or without social companionship, life can be more stressful than it needs to be, particularly during these turbulent times. And if they are housebound or have restricted mobility, or suffer from a long term illness, all this can lead to increased levels of depression and anxiety.

One Westminster has now moved its face-to-face befriending service for older people to a telephone friendship service while the pandemic lasts. If you have 30 minutes a week to spare for a chat with an older person over the phone, you could make a huge difference to the quality of their life, in particular their wellbeing. For many these chats are the highlight of their week.

If you want to volunteer for this personally rewarding role, then we would like to hear from you. You’ll need to be able to communicate empathetically and be good on the phone, have great enthusiasm and a strong sense of commitment to helping older people lead better lives. Check out the role description here.

If your application is successful, One Westminster will train you and then match you with a suitable older person.

To find out more, either phone project coordinator Natalie Castro on 07484 542228, or email her.

When this pandemic ends we plan to resume face-to-face meetings, so if you'd rather wait till then, simply watch this space for further news.

What We're Looking For

  • You don’t need any previous experience to volunteer with us, but you do need patience and good social skills.
  • You'll be confident and comfortable with communicating by telephone.
  • You’ll be prepared to commit to 30 minutes a week, ideally for a year
  • Able to send in reports on a monthly basis.

Interested? Simply fill in this volunteer application form, send it in and we'll get straight back to you.


You can refer yourself - or someone else - if you'd like a telephone befriender to call for a weekly chat. Simply download and fill in this form and then email it to the project coordinator using this secure address. After a successful assessment, we'll get working on finding you a befriender that's right for you.

More Than 50 Befriending Matches!

More Than 50 Befriending Matches!

Since January this year, the Befriending Plus project has made 50 successful matches. That means over the last nine months or so the 50 matched befrienders and volunteers have spent at least 125 hours on the phone chatting with each other. That's the equivalent of about 3.5 working weeks! 

Training & DBS Checks

Training is provided for all our volunteers and includes:

  • An 'Introduction to Befriending' session to explain the role, responsibilities and boundaries, confidentiality, safeguarding and One Westminster’s organisational policies.
  • Where necessary, further training will be offered in such subjects as First Aid, Dementia Awareness and other topics.

An enhanced DBS check will be provided free of charge by One Westminster.


Your travel and refreshment expenses will be reimbursed according to the guidelines outlined in our One Westminster policy document. Telephone calls will be reimbursed on receipt of an itemised phone bill and rates will depend on the type of package the volunteer has with their telephone provider.