In Touch Befriender Service

What is this?

People with combined sight and hearing loss can become lonely, socially isolated and detached from their local community if they don’t have regular contact with their family and friends or are unable to continue with the hobbies and activities they enjoy.

The In Touch Befriender service, aims to remove this social isolation and enhance the individual’s quality of life, by linking them with a volunteer befriender to meet socially on a regular basis.

How it works

Following an introduction made by Deafblind Cymru, volunteer befrienders will regularly visit people with combined sight and hearing loss, helping them to do more of the things they enjoy. This could include a visit to the local café, leisure activities such as rambling, help with information technologies, assistance with simple DIY tasks or a cup of tea and chat – whatever the individual wants.

The volunteers do not provide a personal care service so will not be able to help with activities such as lifting people (for eg out of bed), giving medication, collecting pensions or acting as a sitting service.

If you are interested in becoming a befriender, please click the following link to find out more about the available volunteering oportunities. 

Who is the service for?

The In Touch Befriender service has been set up for those over the age of 50 years who have a combined sight and hearing loss, are feeling lonely and would like the support of a ‘friend’. With this service, we’re also keen to help those recently diagnosed with combined sight and hearing loss, using the befriending process as a means to prevent social isolation.

How is the referral made?

Self referrals are accepted as are referrals from a range of professionals such as social workers, GP’s, ophthalmologists, support workers and care workers, always with the knowledge and consent of the service user.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost to receive the In Touch Befriender Service.

What happens next?

Once the referral form has been received one of the In Touch Befriender Project Officers will be in contact with you to arrange a time and date to assess suitability, explain how the service works and answer any questions that you have. The assessments are used to discuss and identify how the service can benefit you.

The success of the befriending scheme is based on the compatibility of the volunteer and person with sight and hearing loss and does not work on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. That is why it is important that in the initial assessment we find out your interests and hobbies so that we can determine a suitable match. The project officer will then arrange for you to meet the volunteer befriender.

For more information on this service, or to make a referral, please contact the team. Deafblind Cymru logo