Becky was Civil Service Fast streamer who had wanted to volunteer for some time, however full time work and other commitments made finding the right opportunity a challenge.

We met Becky at one of our Government Department pop up events where we had the chance to speak about our Befriending Schemes. The National Visitors Network was something that had appealed before, however Becky was worried about making a strong commitment to regular visits as her job required frequent travel and she didn’t want to be unreliable.

Having spoken to us in more detail about our Phone Buddy scheme – which allows volunteers to provide company and social contact to lonely/isolated, retired public servants; by making regular phone calls instead of visits – Becky was keen to get involved.   

“We’ve been speaking for a couple of years now and she's one of my favourite people”

Becky was paired with a former Civil Servant called Marjory. She did have some anxieties about how it would go, what she would speak about and even whether Marjory would like her! All of which our befriending team were able to explain were more than normal. Each new buddy goes through a short telephone training session, before being sent a training pack which includes FAQ’s etc. These answered a lot of Becky’s questions about conversation topics, dos and don’ts etc.

“She likes the calls for the company, some days she'll go without seeing anybody

Speaking about Marjory, Becky explains that although she does have a daughter that visits as much as she possibly can – there are still days that can go by without any human contact. Being able to speak with Becky on the phone alleviates a lot of that. They speak about anything and everything now, sometimes Becky will mention a book or place which will spark a nostalgic memory – which they both enjoy immensely.

“Although she struggles now physically, which makes getting out difficult; she is still incredibly with it mentally. Which makes for great conversation and I’m terribly glad I can do it”

The Phone Buddy scheme provides a little bit of company and friendly social contact plus it helps to reduce feelings of loneliness and increases motivation and confidence. If you would like to receive a call, become a buddy or find out more you can give us a ring (all calls treated in strictest confidence) on 020 8691 7411 or email: [email protected]