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Blackfriars Settlement
Blackfriars Settlement is a busy community organisation in London's north Southwark. Set up by volunteers back in 1887, our vision has always been to work with local people to make life better.

We're looking for volunteer befrienders to join our Positive Ageing programme. With an ageing population, more and more older people are at risk of isolation and loneliness as partners and friends pass away, family members move away and the community around them changes at a fast pace.

We match volunteers and befriendees to share time, laughter, and joy through regular meet-ups, usually once a week. Each friendship on the programme is unique and different – some pairs head out to explore local community spots, others enjoy staying in for a cup of tea and a chat. We also offer telephone befriending for those who’d prefer a phone conversation.

  • Visit or call an older person once a week or every fortnight for up to an hour
  • Spend time getting to know them and understand what things they may like to do at home (e.g. chess, knitting, reading)
  • Offer fun conversation and encourage them to talk
  • Support them to get out in the community
  • Accompany them on visits out of the home e.g. going for a walk, shopping
  • Support them to find information
  • Send simple monthly reports about how it's going
Who will the volunteers be working with?
We match befrienders with isolated and vulnerable older people living in North Southwark. Most of our befriendees have been referred to us by other services or organisations as they would benefit from reconnecting with their local community.

Our Befriending Officers will be your main point of contact for training and ongoing support.
All volunteers attend an induction, where they learn about the Positive Ageing service, their role and health and safety knowledge.

Time commitment

We ask for a minimum commitment of 6 months with weekly or fortnightly visits or calls. It is up to each individual pair to decide when these take place i.e. mornings, evenings, weekends.

This organisation is one of our community partner organisations.

Like all volunteer recruiters we work with, they have signed up to our service standards, agreeing to abide by our policy on partnership working to keep you safe and supported whilst you volunteer.

You’ll never be out of pocket for volunteering through us – with in-London travel expenses to and from your volunteering guaranteed.

In addition, the team here at Students’ Union UCL Volunteering Service is here to support you throughout your volunteering journey – you can get in touch with us at any time.