Reaching Out is a new initiative launched in 2016 which aims to support older people aged 50+ in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend. The programme aims to build supportive communities for older people with help from local volunteers.
The project is aimed at people who are socially isolated, or emotionally lonely, and to support them to maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle.
Living by yourself, feeling socially isolated or lonely can have an adverse effect on someones health and wellbeing. There are many ways within the Reaching Out programme to help reduce this in your community.
Below are some of the Volunteering options we can offer you.
Befriending - in this role you will support an older person on a one to one basis. They will be someone who has identified as being socially isolated or emotionally lonely. We will support you through comprehensive training to make you feel competent and comfortable in your role. Once you are fully registered and trained we will match you with a person based on personality and location. When you first meet we’ll help you both to make a plan of what the person wants to achieve from being part of Reaching Out. This service is bespoke for our clients; everyone you work with will have a different set of goals and ideas about what to get out of the service. You could support someone who wants to get fitter by going for a walk or accompanying them to a class, you may provide emotional support to someone who has had a bereavement, you may support someone who wants stop smoking by accompanying them to a support group, the list is endless! Once the client’s confidence has improved we would work towards your relationship with the client coming to an end so that you can help someone else.
Telephone Befriending - you can provide much needed emotional support to people who are socially isolated or lonely through phone conversations. This may be with people who are on the waiting list for a one to one befriender, or someone who may prefer to have phone contact rather than a face to face visit. We are looking for people to join our innovative new evening service, providing company over the phone from our office in the loneliest hours of the day.
Volunteer Supervisor - To complement our new telephone befriending evening service, we are looking for a volunteer supervisor to help provide support and advice to other telephone befrienders.
Volunteer Driver - you could provide essential transport for older people in the community who have difficulty getting out and about. When people stop driving for whatever reason, or are unable to take public transport like they used to, it can be a real barrier to having a full and independent life. Many people become isolated and withdrawn if they cannot get out and about freely. You could provide transport to Hospital appointments or social events, your fuel will be reimbursed.
The Reaching Out project also wants to encourage people to think about what services are available for older people in their communities. If you feel that your area could benefit from an over 50’s social group, or you want to increase awareness about an issue that affects older people in your area, we can support you in doing that. We want to support you to help older people in your community in whichever way possible.
We also work with other organisations; so that those using the Reaching Out service understand what other help is available to them.
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this kind of help contact us for a chat.
Also, if you, or someone you know, would like to volunteer as a befriender contact us on 01443 490650 or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can download an English Language volunteer application form, or Welsh Language volunteer application form.