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Befriending Week 2022

Befriending Week has been a yearly event for 10 years. Befriending Week will run from the 1st - 7th November 2022.

What is Befriending week? Befriending week highlights the work carried out by charities that support children, young people and adults, who are lonely and/or isolated.

Loneliness can be very difficult to identify and understand and may happen for many reasons; complex health issues, reduced mobility, the loss of a partner, being the carer of someone with complex mental or physical health needs, lack of confidence, age or poverty.

Many older adults do not think that they are either lonely or isolated, they just think it is something that happens “as we get older”.

Being lonely can happen slowly and for lots of reasons, and to many of us, and we will not admit to feeling lonely.

Prior to the COVID pandemic of March 2020 many children, young people, or adults, would not have considered themselves lonely or isolated. Suddenly, normal life stopped for us all and within 24 hrs of the government’s announcement many of us were at home, living through changes that we did not foresee or thought we would have to experience. Suddenly, BEFRIENDING became a new buzz word to many, such as families who had older parents living many miles away and who they could not visit. Many older people lost the chance to go out shopping and had no one to chat to. Even people who lived with other people felt lonely when they could not go out and mix with family and friends! We grew to realise that you can be lonely in a crowd! Also people were fearful of mixing with other people.

New organisations and groups sprang up during the pandemic and new befriending groups were set up. As many of the volunteers,

that supported the new groups, have returned to work many people have lost the person they got to know during the pandemic. This means that many of the organisations who were around, before the pandemic, are now under pressure to expand their befriending services.

Suddenly people needed organisations that were already running Befriending services. The highest number of people receiving support, receive it through telephone befriending.

Befriending can be delivered in various ways; face to face, in groups or telephone befriending. During the pandemic many befriending groups had to deliver their services through telephone befriending.

The backbone of any Befriending Service are the trained volunteers.

None of the befriending services can be run without 2 things; funding and volunteers.

Befriending Network carried out research in June 2022 that showed the clear impact of Befriending. The link below will take you to the report.

Befriending Report 2022

Telephone Befriending is delivered by BrightLife in Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire.

In the first 6 months of the financial year 22/23 the Befrienders have made 2080 calls to local older people who are lonely.

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