Brighton Befriender Volunteer - RAF Association

The Royal Air Forces Association

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The Royal Air Forces Association (or RAF Association) is a member-led, registered welfare charity that provides welfare support to Serving and Ex-Serving RAF personnel and their families.

The Befriender role is at the heart of the RAF Association’s objectives in delivering welfare support to members of the RAF family requiring it.

The aim of the Befriender role is to help alleviate isolation and loneliness, by giving time to listen to people either in person or over the phone and to encourage communication on a shared interest or topic, leading to improving and developing enjoyable social networks for the beneficiary or by helping facilitate their involvement in community groups and activities to ensure that they remain part of the community and feel socially connected.

The role of a Befriender is varied and could involve helping out with practical tasks such as driving someone to a doctor’s appointment, it could simply involve a cup of tea and a chat or it could be to accompany them to their first meeting of an interest group in their community.


Befriender volunteers need to be:

  •  Caring and empathetic, with the ability to build a rapport with others and put them at ease, through a friendly and sensitive approach
  •  Good listeners and communicators
  •  Reliable and dependable
  •  Able to put people who may be anxious or worried, at their ease
  •  Aware of some local social groups the beneficiary could get involved in or be able to research this for them.


With the opportunity to directly improve someone’s quality of life and see the difference each contact with that person has on them, this role is something to feel proud of.

Other benefits include building self-confidence and improving communication skills with a variety of people, as most people will be in touch with a couple of people during the year.

Practical Considerations

Timing expectation: Befriender volunteers are asked to commit to as much time as you can offer to the role. Each visit to a beneficiary would be around one to two hours, or more if desired by both parties, this can be either a short or long term support package.

Befriender volunteers will need to be 18 years of age or over and be prepared to undertake an Enhanced DBS check, which is required for this role. Befriender volunteers are required to attend a one day training course which is free and for which expenses will be paid. All volunteers should be able to work in a non-judgemental and professional manner. Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed in line with the RAF Association volunteering and expenses policies.

When do I need to be available?

Details Availability is coordinated to suit both the volunteer and the beneficiary.
Morning Afternoon Evening

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  • Details
  • Appropriate for (e.g. 18+, LGBT, BME, Women only)
    Over 18
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Expenses
  • Health and Safety
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Support on Offer
    Provided by local Area Welfare Office
  • Training
    Befriender volunteers are required to attend a one day training course which is free and for which expenses will be paid.