RMBF volunteers provide telephone befriending support for RMBF beneficiaries and supporters who are socially isolated or excluded. They may be living alone or in family circumstances which have led to them being isolated.
Our volunteers offer a listening ear – providing support and encouragement when needed through regular friendly chats on the phone, giving their partners the individual attention that might be lacking in their lives. Please note this is not an advice or counselling service.
They provide emotional support to their partners at a time of increased distress, offering them the chance to talk in confidence to a caring person. They call their partner on an agreed regular basis, working within the policy and practice framework of the RMBF PhoneFriend Service.
We expect RMBF volunteers to:
- Work with their partner and provide support, guidance and encouragement, respecting their confidentiality at all times
- Establish and maintain appropriate boundaries
- Inform the RMBF of any concerns about their partner
- Participate in regular evaluation of the RMBF PhoneFriend Service
Attributes of a successful befriender
RMBF volunteers come from a diverse mix of backgrounds. However, there are a few personal attributes that our befriending volunteers share which help them succeed. These attributes include being:
- A good listener and communicator
- Objective and non-judgemental
- Able to demonstrate empathy, care and concern to the beneficiary PhoneFriend
- Able to relate to new people without prejudice
- Professional, confidential and caring
RMBF volunteers receive comprehensive support and advice from the Head of Volunteering on request. Regular evaluation of the befriending partnerships is carried out to ensure both parties are comfortable and happy.