The project under the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust want to recruit, train, match and support volunteers to become Befrienders who will be expected to visit clients for one to one and a half hours per week. Referrals will come from a multisectoral panel set up as part of a wider scheme to address social isolation and safety issues for older people.
Northern Ireland is a rural country in which Help the Aged NI identify isolation as a real serious issue. With limited public transport no neighbours close by and often no shop for miles many older people are left feeling lonely and housebound. In a recent Help the Aged survey 21% of older people aged over 65 said they are always lonely. The project will be delivered via a partnership approach for beneficiaries living in rural Lisburn by providing a volunteer befriending service.
Provide co-ordination to oversee the Volunteer Befriending service
To recruit up to 15 volunteers, train, match and support them throughout the life of the proeject
To signpost older people to services / activities which will improve their sense of wellbeing
Increase community knowledge
Decrease feelings of isolation and loneliness