Telephone befriending

Age UK West Sussex and Brighton & Hove

Register your Interest

Are you a good listener? Do you enjoy chatting to people over the phone? Would you like to make a difference to an isolated and lonely older person during these difficult times?  Can you offer 30 minutes a week?  If so, then we would love to hear from you. 

Most of us will feel lonely at some point in our lives. For many people in later life, loneliness defines their life and has a significant impact on their wellbeing.  And of course, the COVID-19 restrictions have left thousands of older people unable to go out, enjoy their usual community activities or have visitors in their home. 

Our telephone befriending service matches a lonely older person with a friendly volunteer for a regular 30 minute chat on the phone. It's amazing what a difference this small act of kindness can make to someone's life. Many people tell us that this call is the highlight of their week. 

Becoming a telephone befriender is a simple, enjoyable way to volunteer. And you don't need to have much spare time.  All we ask of you is to:

  • Phone the person you are matched for a chat up to 30 minutes.  You must be able to do this on a regular basis - weekly, fortnightly or monthly as agreed with the older person. 
  • And let us know straight away if you have any concerns.

And that's it! 


You don't need to have done anything like this before.  We are looking for people who are:

  • Good listeners.
  • Friendly, comforting and approachable.
  • Patient and caring.
  • Reliable.

You must also be non-judgemental and respectful of difference.


Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, learn new skills, and support the work we do in the community. 

And you will have the chance to make a positive difference to the life of a lonely older person. 

Practical Considerations

We will need to carry out a DBS check before you can start.  

When do I need to be available?

Details We ask that you call the older person you are matched with for 30 minutes on a regular basis to be agreed between you. This is typically once a week or fortnight.
Morning Afternoon Evening

Register your Interest

  • Details
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Health and Safety
  • Induction
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Support on Offer
  • This role is adaptable for different abilities
  • Training