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How we help: Befriending

We have heard many stories of how the lockdown has left people more alone than usual. Visits from family and carers have been put on hold and groups and clubs are not running. Our befriending service continues to give our members some normality and continuity throughout, and after lockdown.

Joyce was feeling anxious and concerned about Coronavirus; her lunchtime carer was no longer coming, and she was feeling lonely and struggling to cope on her own.  Joyce’s volunteer befriender, Ryan, has been a saviour to her through lockdown. Joyce and Ryan talk on the phone twice a week. Not only does this give her the reassurance that someone is checking in on her, but it also gives her some much-needed continuity in such uncertain times. Joyce knows that Ryan will call on a certain day and time, and this really helps her.  The two have formed a great friendship over the phone. They talk about their pasts and share memories with each other. Joyce has even been singing songs to Ryan that she learned at school!  At one point, Ryan was concerned for Joyce’s wellbeing, with her not receiving her usual lunchtime support visits. He flagged this to the Deafblind UK helpline team, and we have been able to liaise with her support provider to re-instate the visits, so that Joyce now has a safe support package in place once again.

How it works

Our befrienders can contact you by phone email, text message or video call (including BSL) at mutually convenient times. We always try to match our members to volunteers who have similar interests and hobbies so that you have something to talk about from day one.

When we have found your ideal befriender, we will introduce you to each other. Unless you want us to be more involved, we will usually then take a back seat and let you and your new befriender enjoy each other’s company.  Our befrienders are volunteers and have all had security checks and basic training from Deafblind UK.

If you would like more information about becoming a volunteer or to request a befriender, contact us!

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITIES: here are a few volunteering opportunities currently listed by Deafblind UK in Northern Ireland…


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