Dorchester Friends In Deed – LONELY… ? NEED A FRIEND…?
‘Dorchester Friends In Deed’ is our Church initiative which seeks to improve the quality of life for isolated people, especially the elderly, in the Dorchester area by befriending them.
People can be isolated or feel alone for all sorts of reasons: the nature of a person’s physical or mental health problem, their age, being homebound or have other circumstances which make opportunities for developing friendship difficult. Sometimes people feel alone even when they are in regular contact with others. Befriending provides safe, reliable, 1-1 friendly contact which should bring companionship, interest and fun.
This is not an evangelistic group but set up entirely to show the love of God to people through our actions, specifically in regard to being a friend to those who might be lonely. We have a group of trained befrienders and received referrals from doctor’s surgeries, Social Services etc.
Who are the befrienders?
Our befrienders are men and women of varying ages; they give freely of their time and undergo training to make the befriendee’s safety, privacy and well being their priority in developing the friendship.
Things we do and don’t do…
Our befrienders do the sort of things friends do: • They will try and understand your situation and support needs. • Share a chat over the phone, or over a cup of coffee. • Play a game of chess, cards or whatever. • Watch a film together with you. • Enquire and chat about your life, family and interests.
Befrienders do not… • Claim to be ‘experts’ – they recognise that each person is an individual with unique personal needs. • Take on the role of GP, nurse etc. – medical concerns will always need to be explored with the person’s doctor/nurse. • Give counselling or social work support – befrienders are not trained counsellors but can signpost to professionals that may be able to help. • Influence decisions or take control.
What could a befriender do for you? A befriender is someone…. • who will take time to really listen to you. • who won’t judge, or give advice or opinions; but will give their undivided attention. • to trust. • who cares • who will respect you and won’t try to take charge. • who will treat everything in complete confidence. • who will seek to make themselves available,. • with warmth who will reassure and accept. • who is reliable e.g. keeping to arrangements whenever possible. • who will say, “I care.”
Could you benefit from a befriender?
If the answer is ‘Yes’ then please make contact with the Co-ordinator or ask a family member or support worker to refer you.
Co-ordinator’s Name: TBA
Dorchester Friends in Deed Dorchester Community Church Acland Road Dorchester DT1 1EF
Contact Phone Number: Freephone 0800 7313703
What are befrienders’ responsibilities?
Taking time to build a relationship with the befriended.
Carrying out the volunteer role with due care and diligence.
Listening in a confidential, non-judgemental way.
Offering social support and companionship.
Staying in contact through changing circumstances.
Acting with respect and courtesy at all times.
Feedback concerns to coordinator for appropriate action, having discussed this with the befriended, for appropriate action.
Preserve the independence of the befriended.
Refuse to take on tasks, requested by the befriended person, which they are not happy to do or go beyond their limitations or job guidelines.
Tell the coordinator if you are having any difficulties with your work.
Enjoy your befriending!
This could be both fun and fulfilling – and is a much needed role in the community. It won’t take up too much of your hard-pressed time, but would be really worthwhile.
Time required: Flexible, to fit in with personal circumstances but a minimum of 1 hour per month (after the initial training of one 6½ hour day or four 2 hour sessions depending on which is being offered at the time).
Training: initial participation is a necessary requirement. Ongoing training will be provided as appropriate.
Reviews: these will be carried out by the coordinator at regular intervals. Regular contact should be maintained.
Requirements: Anyone taking part will require 2 references and will be CRB police checked.