Open Site Navigation

Chew Valley and Keynsham Befrienders

Chew Valley and Keynsham Befrienders

Brief Description of Organisation

One in four of us experience emotional distress at some time in our lives, and sometimes the only only treatment required is having a sympathetic ear and someone to talk to.

We  are a small voluntary organisation operating in parts of North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset (Chew Valley and Keynsham in particular).

Full Description of Organisation

One in four of us experience emotional distress at some time in our lives, and sometimes the only only treatment required is having a sympathetic ear and someone to talk to.

We  are a small voluntary organisation operating in parts of North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset (Chew Valley and Keynsham in particular).

We support individuals and their families, who have mental health problems or are experiencing emotional distress. Those referred are allocated a befriender who visits or phones on a regular basis, at times to suit both the befriender and person visited.

Becoming a befriendee

People are referred to us by social workers, community psychiatric nurses, and family doctors, or they can refer themselves. They are then matched with our Befrienders, who keep in contact with users by visiting them or by telephone.

Becoming a befriender

We are always in need of more volunteers. No formal qualifications or experience are necessary, but a genuine interest in people and a willingness to listen and learn are essential.

After a short chat about what we do, if you are still willing to continue we will carry out the legal regulatory checks e.g. Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), we will set up a training programme, usually this is just two mornings over a three to four week period.

Once the training has been completed and if you are still keen to carry on, our coordinator will match you to a potential befriendee. You will have a chance to meet with your befriendee with the coordinator to ensure that there is a suitable rapport, from both sides, and if all okay, then off you go. It is as simple as that.

Our volunteers are fully supported by a coordinator who is available at any time to help with difficult issues, if they occur. We also hold regular peer group meetings that provide opportunities to discuss issues with other volunteers and identify any further support they may need including additional training.

It might just be one of the most rewarding activities that you do!

“I was a little nervous initially, I had no experience of helping people with mental health issues, however once I had completed the training and started my relationship with my new ‘friend’ I really looked forward to the visits. I believe that I am now making a real difference” Chew Valley and Keynsham Befriender.

Chew Valley and Keynsham Befrienders

Brief Description of Organisation

One in four of us experience emotional distress at some time in our lives, and sometimes the only only treatment required is having a sympathetic ear and someone to talk to.

We  are a small voluntary organisation operating in parts of North Somerset and Bath & North East Somerset (Chew Valley and Keynsham in particular).

Chew Valley and Keynsham Befrienders