Volunteer befriender

Our befriending service offers vital support to vulnerable or lonely adults in central and west London. Every person we support is carefully matched with a volunteer befriender who visits every week.

COVID-19 Outbreak 

With the UK being asked to stop all non-essential contact, supporting our community is more important now than ever before.

Octavia is working hard to mitigate both the risk of Coronavirus and the wider impacts that social distancing measures will inevitably have on some of the older people we support in our homes and extra care schemes and through our befriending and outreach services.

We are providing one-to-one phone befriending services to help combat loneliness and bring comfort to many who are feeling alone.

If you can help us by volunteering with us, please get in touch. We may not be able to get back to you straight away, but the current situation is likely to continue for some time and we will follow this up with you as soon as we can. You can apply to be an Octavia volunteer online here.

Regular Befriending

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face befriending has been halted until further notice.

Volunteer befrienders offer their company, visiting their befriendee in their own home or providing the support they may need to venture out. In 2018/19 Octavia volunteers provided support to 115 local people, promoting independence and reducing isolation, however, we currently over have 100 people waiting to be matched with a volunteer.

The programme runs in Westminster for isolated individuals aged 50 or above; and in Kensington and Chelsea for those 18 and above.

Could you be our next volunteer?

The role of a befriender can vary depending on the person you are matched with and the support they need. A visit with your befriender could include having a chat over a cup of tea, taking a walk or going shopping.

We provide every befriender with training which:

  • explains the role and what you should expect;
  • explores what makes a good befriender; and
  • covers safeguarding procedures and working with vulnerable adults.

To find out more you can view the role description and case studies of current matches to the right of the page.

You can also contact a volunteer coordinator via phone or email

E: volunteering@octavia.org.uk

T: 020 8354 5500