Volunteer Telephone Befriender

Would you like to support older people in your local community? 

Do you have a few hours to spare on a weekly basis?

MHA Communities - Winchester is a charity offering volunteer based support and friendship to older people living in their own homes; helping to maintain independent living, improve well-being and reduce isolation and loneliness. We aim to help older people maintain their independence by offering opportunities for companionship, support and advice. MHA Communities - Winchester is supported by volunteers who assist in variety of different ways.

What would I be doing as a Volunteer Telephone Befriender?

The aim of our Volunteer Telephone Befrienders is to help improve the quality of life for older people who are socially isolated and reduce feelings of loneliness. Volunteers are required to ring an older person to check on them and build a friendship and chat about shared interests.

Weekly calls usually last 30 minutes - 1 hour.


Skills and qualities needed for this role:

  • Good listening skills
  • Patience, empathy and understanding of the needs of older people
  • Ability to keep records of calls made
  • You will be reliable and punctual
  • You will be able to be flexible
  • You will have a clear sense of personal boundaries
  • You have the ability to provide a supportive and non-judgemental service
  • You’ll be willing to engage with training and development
  • You will have a good understanding of personal strengths and limitations
  • You’ll be able to maintain confidentiality

What impact would I have?

One half an hour call seems really simple, but having someone to talk to and someone to listen, could really make a difference to an older person. It could be that you’re the only person they speak to that day, or even that week. 

How does it work?

Our Volunteer Telephone Befrienders are introduced to an older person, through a telephone call. The calling is flexible, we recommend you try and keep the call to the same time and day every week, but it’s up to you and you can discuss this on your first call.

Why volunteer for MHA?

If you are passionate about caring for older people, MHA is the place for you. We are a national charity inspiring the best care at every stage of later life. It is our mission to enable people to live later life well and you could help us achieve this. We will provide you with ongoing training, support and advice throughout your volunteering experience.

There is an application and induction process which must be completed by all new applicants to enable you to become a volunteer with us. This will involve a number of stages including the following:

  • Initially we will call you to discuss volunteering and talk about your availability, we will invite you to our office in Winchester for an informal meeting; this will give us a chance to discuss volunteering roles and you can ask any questions you might have.
  • Providing details of two character references who you have known for at least 2 years
  • Attending an online induction (either by Zoom or Teams)
  • Completing a DBS application (including providing suitable ID in person at our office in Winchester)
  • Completing a Volunteer Agreement
  • Completing various online training courses depending on the volunteer role. Courses may include for example, Safeguarding, Fire Safety and Moving & Handling

Volunteers benefit from local support in your chosen volunteering role, annual reviews, ongoing training and out of pocket expenses.


  • Accessibility
  • Age restrictions
  • DBS check required
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Expenses reimbursed
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Ongoing support
  • Training provided
  • Volunteer induction
  • Volunteer Policy
  • Volunteers covered by insurance
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

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The United Church
Jewry Street
SO23 8RZ

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