Join Irene and read her a book home befirender role Carrickfergus County Antrim
Our member Irene, who has sight loss due to older age, loves feeding the birds in her garden and is a lover of nature in general. She enjoys arts and crafts and enjoys making her own greetings cards and used to play the piano. Irene is very easy going and very easy to chat to, she has a friendly nature and loves a good conversation. A chat with Irene is always fun and very interesting! Unfortunately, due to her sight loss, Irene is finding it more and more difficult to read her favourite books and would love a friendly female volunteer to visit her one weekday evening, enjoy a cuppa, read to her and have a good natter!
No experience is required simply a friendly, caring nature and the ability to talk and listen. Our members are some of the most isolated in the community and a weekly visit could make all the difference to Irene's life
What is a Volunteer Befriender?
A Volunteer Home or Social Befriender will regularly visit a deafblind person in their own home or at another mutually convenient location to engage in or support them in social, leisure and practical activities as appropriate, to build and maintain social interaction and independence. Thus, breaking isolation and improving their quality of life.
The activities which may include:
- Engaging in conversation or other activities as appropriate to build and maintain friendship e.g. chat and a cup of tea or going for local walks.
- Providing information about local leisure opportunities and transport options
- Accompanying the person to the first few meetings of one or more social or leisure groups or activities in the local community, e.g. the W.I., swimming pool, University of the 3rd Age, community walking groups, a local deafblind group or activity
As a Volunteer Home/Social Befriender your role will be:
- Establishing and building a befriending relationship and enabling our member to socialise and link to social events within the community
- To visit an identified person at a mutually convenient time and place to engage in activities as described above and appropriate to normal companionship (Deafblind UK will work to match you with an individual with similar interests who would benefit from your life experiences)
- To provide advice and guidance to the member at a level appropriate within a mutual companionship.
- To supervise the member as required in specific tasks ie gardening.
- To take charge of communication and guiding support as needed with the member to enable local walks, or enable them to access activities at their chosen meeting location
- Providing regular updates of your volunteering activity to your Deafblind UK named contact
What times do I need to commit to?
- This role requires a regular commitment of time to regularly visit our member, normally weekly at a mutually convenient time and place.
The role will suit people who are …
- Willing to share their own personal interests with our member who have the same or similar interests
- Willing to engage in conversations with our members to share interests
- Willing to learn communication and guiding techniques to meet the needs of our members with combined sight and hearing loss (full training will be provided)
- You must be over 18 to take up this role
What are the benefits to you?
- Opportunities to meet like-minded people in your community
- Be part of a friendly, supportive and dedicated team
- The satisfaction of knowing you will be making a difference to real people’s lives
- New communications skills
- Establishing positive employability skills to help you in your career path
How do we support you?
We ensure all volunteers who join our team are well equipped to undertake any tasks and will provide training and supervision throughout your journey with us. Any specific training will be outlined within your onboarding and induction stages and then discussed at your reviews with your Deafblind UK named contact.