The Volunteer Befriending Project is a social support for Older People living in South Leitrim, who feel lonely and isolated and would benefit from some company and social contact. Most people who avail of this service are referred by their Public Health Nurse or other health professional, however we do accept self-referrals.
Following an initial visit to the Older Person wishing to receive a Befriender; to make sure that they understand and are happy with the service, we match them with a Volunteer Befriender. All our volunteers are Garda vetted, trained and monitored. We try and match Befrienders and Befriendees by common interest and geographic proximity, but sometimes initial matches don’t work out and we will rematch volunteers and Older People until we get it just right.
When a successful match has been made, weekly visits will commence, usually for about one hour per week at a pre-arranged time. This is a very flexible service, some people enjoy a cup of tea and a chat in their own home with their Befriender, while others like to go for lunch or perhaps a walk, as long as it is agreeable to both Befriender and Befriendee, it is possible.
Volunteer Befrienders are supported by Leitrim Development Company, they complete a visit log on a monthly basis and they receive regular phone calls, for them to highlight any issues or concerns. We are also dedicated to providing training opportunities for our volunteers and regular ‘get-togethers’ for volunteers to share their experiences and knowledge with each other.
This project is being delivered in partnership with Leitrim Calling, a free, confidential telephone service for Older People in Leitrim (087 9585029). We encourage all people availing of our service to also avail of Leitrim Calling, as a social support package. Leitrim Calling communicates with all the Older People who use the Volunteer Befriending Project, to make sure they are happy with the service that they are receiving.
If you are interested in becoming a Volunteer Befriender or availing of the Volunteer Befriending Service, please contact Anna McTiernan;
071 9648966/ 0864073492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org