Volunteers - Overview
Our volunteers give a little bit of their time once a week to change the life of an isolated elderly person. Engaging with our older community is a rich and rewarding experience for our volunteers, whether they've retired themselves, and enjoy chatting about the old days of Falmouth life, or maybe they're studying at the University and create the strong intergenerational bonds that are so important for a thriving society. There are no requirements for former experience working with the elderly - you just need to be a good listener and able to reliably visit a client regularly.
We’re always getting new referrals and are on the lookout for new volunteers to help us ensure that everyone who needs our help can receive it. Befriending makes up the largest part of the work we do, but you can help in many different ways!
Events and Excursions
Gardening or DIY
Dog walking and other services
We are also always keen to make connections with writers, photographers, and artists who would be interested in participating in upcoming projects.
All of our volunteers are subject to background checks and receive informed safeguarding training to ensure that none of our vulnerable clients are put at risk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the scheme set up?
There are many older people in Falmouth and the surrounding areas who are housebound or feel cut off from the world. The Befriending Service was set up to take on volunteers, of any age, who are able to give up a little of their time to visit a lonely person.
What would I have to do as a volunteer?
As a volunteer you would visit older people in their own homes, chat with them, listen to them and generally provide some support and companionship.
How much time would I have to give?
That’s entirely up to you. One hour a week is the minimum we suggest.
What personal qualities are required?
You’ll need to be friendly and polite and often a good listener. Otherwise all that is needed is common sense, patience and understanding.
Would I be expected to provide other support?
No. This is a befriending service only. However our volunteers often act as a ‘signposting service’ to raise issues of concern with us that we then pass on to a relevant statutory authority or agency.
What training will I need?
You will receive guidance sheets from the office. You will also have a chance to undertake other training later on but only if you want to.
Will volunteering or training cost me anything?
No. If there are travel expenses, they can be reclaimed.
What help and back-up will I receive?
As well as some written material, the Manager will always be available to provide support and advice. You will also be covered by our public liability insurance.
What do I do next?
Call us or email: [email protected] to arrange an interview. We’ll ask you to fill out a couple of forms (including one for DBS clearance) and explain more in detail about how we operate.