The Civil Service Retirement Fellowship (CSRF) Befriending Services are designed to reduce loneliness in older people. Our friendly and dedicated volunteers offer regular company and conversation to older people either by phone or a home visit.

You will find all the information you need here to help you decide if the older person you support would benefit from our services.

Our Befriending Services

We run two services: the National Visitors Network and Phone Buddy Scheme. These provide a regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly friendly social chat, over the phone or face to face.

The aim of our befriending services is to reduce feelings of loneliness in older people and alleviate social isolation. Our services do not provide any form of personal care, respite care, shopping, handyperson or transport services.

Our calls and visits are delivered by dedicated volunteers who receive training in understanding issues older people face, communication and safeguarding. Our volunteers are DBS checked and calls and visits are available across the UK (although how quickly we can match someone will depend on the availability of volunteers).

Is this service right for the older person I support?

Our befriending services are designed for those most lonely and in their later years. We talk to everyone who applies to see what they want from the service and if our service is right for them. However some older people with severe health conditions may mean they struggle to access or use the service. Conditions such as significant memory loss, for example, can sometimes mean an individual struggles to build a friendship with the volunteer and may even find this distressing. Please discuss with us if you have any doubts.

Before contacting us you may wish to consider the following questions to determine whether our services would benefit the older person you support:

  • Are they an older person who is lonely?
  • Do they have a health condition which could prevent them fully participating in and enjoying a friendship visit or call?
  • Will they be able to remember when a visit or call will take place?
  • Are they comfortable about receiving a regular call or visit from a volunteer?
  • Do they know you are making this referral? Are they happy for the CSRF to contact them?

How to contact us

For more information or to have a confidential chat please contact our Befriending Services Manager Nathan McLellan on 020 8649 9192 or email: [email protected]