Befriending Service

Befriending Service for older people in Merton

What does it do?

Merton Befriending Service is a collaboration of locally based community organisations in Merton working together to deliver a high quality befriending service for isolated older people. Age UK Merton is leading on this Service. Other partners include Positive Network, Carer's Support Merton, Wimbledon Guild and Merton Voluntary Service Council.

We offer a face to face and a telephone befriending service. Emphasis is on reducing social isolation, empowerment and promoting independence. This is done by providing emotional support and/or enabling people to be re-integrated back into their local community.

Who it is for?

Older people in Merton
Priority will be given to those who are BOTH housebound and living alone.

Where it is available?

Local service (Merton).

What it costs:

The service is free.

How to access or apply for it:

Age UK Merton

Referral criteria:

We welcome referrals from anyone for

  • Merton residents  
  • Age 65 years and over
  • Who are housebound
  • And/or living alone 
  • And/or recently bereaved (within the last year)
  • And/or with a recent diagnosis of a long term condition (in the last year)
  • Who want to be befriended through once weekly visits and/or telephone calls.
  • Who are socially isolated and not engaged with activities in the community. 
Socially isolated people are those not in regular personal contact with family, friends, community organisations and activities.
Regular personal contact is anything greater than 3 days a week and not in a caring capacity. Carers may be in regular contact with family but this is not regarded as “regular personal contact”

Additional information:

Face to face befriending:

With this aspect of befriending, volunteers visit their designated client once a week. Outings may be possible if the client is assessed to be mobile enough and we have the resources to facilitate an outing at that point.   

Telephone befriending:

With this aspect of befriending, volunteers telephone their designated client 1-2 times a week. Calls will last for approximately 20 minutes. This aspect may be offered independently or to complement face to face befriending.

Our volunteers:

Our volunteers are interviewed and fully inducted into the role. 2 references are taken up. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check is also carried out. Volunteers are regularly supervised and monitored.  



Info last updated: