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Befriending An Older Person

For many older people who live alone or without social companionship, life can be more stressful than it needs to be. 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 way for an older person to have an improved quality of life is to meet regularly with a caring visitor with whom to chat, have a cup of tea or a meal, and maybe go out shopping or to a place of interest.

Would you like to help someone like this by becoming a befriender for One Westminster’s Befriending Plus project? If you want to volunteer for this personally rewarding role, then we would like to hear from you. You’ll need to have great enthusiasm and a strong sense of commitment to helping older people lead better lives.

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 Natalie Castro  on 020 7535 0497, or email her.

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 prepared to commit to two hours a week, for at least six months.


You can refer yourself - or someone else - if you'd like a befriender to visit on a regular basis. Simply download and fill in the form below and email it to After a successful assessment, we'll get working on finding you a befriender that's right for you.


Our project coordinator Natalie gets out and about quite a bit as she matches people to befrienders all over Westminster, but she doesn't usually run into them by chance. Imagine her surprise when helping another of our projects prune roses in a community garden, who should turn up but Elisabeth, one of the ladies she has helped. A delightful surprise for both - and they've arranged to meet for a coffee!

More Than 30 Befriending Matches!

Since January this year, our project has made 34 successful matches. Here’s a recent successful pairing between retired nurse Peggy (on right in photo below) who at 85 now lives alone in a sheltered accommodation scheme and keeps herself entertained with television, church and her regular lunch group.  She particularly enjoys reading detective novels as she likes to guess ‘Who done it’.

Peggy very much enjoys her weekly meetings with Rufia, an active member of the local community, who as well as looking after her family, still finds time to enjoy fine food preparation. When the weather permits both of them go out to Peggy’s favourite café for tea and cakes, and a chat.

Training & DBS Checks

Training is provided for all our volunteers and includes:

  • An Introduction to Befriending session that explains 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.