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Become a Telephone Befriender

What does a Telephone Befriender do?

As a telephone befriender you will provide a consistent and reliable weekly telephone friendship call to an older person, encouraging and enabling them to become more confident and, hopefully, to feel less lonely.


As a ‘telephone befriender’ you will have a good sense of humour and the ability to maintain and engaging conversation with an older person. You will have excellent listening skills, and you'll need to be able to show your telephone friend respect, patience, empathy and understanding.


You will build trust and confidence and share your feedback with PramaLife so that we can address any urgent issues like lack of food, medication issues, or acute anxiety and depression.


Requirements of this role


To become a telephone befriender, you will need:

  • access to the internet from your own home

  • an email account

  • a telephone

If you have a disability that may require specialist equipment or support, please highlight this on your application and we will discuss this at your interview. We welcome applications from people with a physical or sensory disability.

Knowledge/understanding

  • a genuine desire to support older and vulnerable people

  • appreciation of issues facing older people at the moment

  • understanding of the need for confidentiality

  • understanding of the need to maintain safe volunteering boundaries

Skills/abilities

  • warmth, understanding, sensitivity and a willingness to listen

  • the ability to communicate clearly

  • the ability to be supportive and non-judgemental regardless of a person’s age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity/reassignment, disability, class, religion or belief, or HIV status

  • a flexible and understanding approach to working with older people whose needs may vary or change over time

  • to be willing to learn from your own and others’ experiences

  • basic IT skills

Other

  • to be able to make a regular commitment for a minimum of two months

  • a sense of humour and the ability to enjoy and share conversation

  • willingness to undertake further training and supervision as and when requested

  • commitment and an adherence to the PramaLife Equality and Diversity Policy


Time commitment


We’d like you to commit to one friendship call each week for a minimum of two months, wherever possible. You will have an opportunity to discuss your availability as part of your volunteer interview, including your ability to commit more time if desired.


Main areas of responsibility

  • complete the interview and training required

  • make calls to the client(s) assigned to you at the time and day agreed by you both

  • comply with PramaLife record-keeping policies including returning the feedback form on the same day as your friendship calls

  • report any urgent problems or concerns to our team

  • develop and maintain appropriate boundaries of confidentiality with other volunteers, colleagues and older people

  • complete further training as and when required to support you and your volunteering role

For more in formation about becoming a Telephone Befriender, please contact Jo, PramaLife Volunteer Coordinator jo.keats@prama.uk

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