Befriending and Mentoring

Please note: All our wellbeing services are delivered by phone and are unaffected by the coronavirus. They aim to give you emotional support and ‘me time’ and help you become more resilient. This is a difficult and testing time for carers. It helps to talk. Don’t bottle it up.

Befriending Service

Does your caring role sometimes leave you feeling lonely or isolated? Would it help to speak regularly to someone who understands your situation?

We will match you with a trained volunteer, who can provide conversation, companionship and emotional support. Your volunteer will contact you fortnightly at a time that’s convenient for you. The service is initially offered for 6 months.

Penny cares for her husband. She was apprehensive about befriending at first but, 5 months later, she thinks it’s wonderful. When Alan calls her, they start by chatting about the ups and downs of the last fortnight. This gives Penny a chance to talk about any frustrations she is experiencing. She doesn’t like to discuss her problems with her husband as he faces many issues of his own and she doesn’t want to add to his worries.

“It’s great to have someone outside the family to talk to. I feel I can be more honest with Alan than I can with my friends and family. The phone calls are a joyous and pleasant 30 minutes. I look forward to them all week.” Penny, carer

“It is really encouraging to know you have helped to make someone’s day better and have helped to lift them up. You can tell how much people enjoy that time for themselves and can see what difference it makes.” Alan, volunteer

Mentoring Service

Do you sometimes feel helpless? Do you find yourself going round and round in circles fighting for services? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused, particularly if you are new to caring, or your caring situation has changed.

Everyone’s caring situation is different, but sometimes it can help to talk to another carer. You may be new to caring and simply don’t know what support is available. Or perhaps something has changed and you are having to tackle a new set of challenges:

When my husband became incontinent it was all new to me.
My son will finish college and then what?
My GP started talking about mental capacity and I was overwhelmed.
We can cope at the moment, but I know that the dementia will get worse.
I cannot bear to think about what will happen to my daughter when I die.
I don’t know where to start with residential care.
I don’t want to stop working, but something has got to give.

This service will link you up with a trained mentor who is a carer (or former carer) in a similar caring situation. Your mentor will share their own experience and help you understand what support is available. The service is available for up to a year, or shorter periods of time too.

“There are so many things that nobody tells you when you become a carer which I wish I’d known. Nobody tells you that you can work and that you can get lots of financial help with benefits like the carers wellbeing grant. I had no idea that there was support groups I could join and I didn’t really know what respite was and that you could get help to take time off.” Kerry, carer

For further information, please contact:

Maria Day
Wellbeing Coordinator
Tel: 0117 958 9904 or use our contact form by clicking here.