Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone. For people who become isolated because of ill-health, disability or social disadvantage, being matched with a befriender often fills a big gap.
Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Around the UK there are befriending projects which organise effective support for children and young people, families, people with mental ill health, people with learning disabilities and older people, amongst many others.
The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities and leads to increased self-esteem and self-confidence.
Here are some of the befriending services and options. Please note that while some of these services below are commissioned by Bromley Council or the NHS, others are independent organisations and charities.
Advice and information
Advice and information is available on tackling loneliness and isolation whether you are looking to help yourself or others.
Helping yourself to tackle loneliness and isolation
NHS - Loneliness - This website brings together information and resources about loneliness and organisations which can provide support for those experiencing it.
Mind - This website explains loneliness, including the causes of loneliness and how it relates to mental health problems. Gives practical tips to help manage feelings of loneliness, and other places you can go for support.
Marmalade Trust - This website helps to raise awareness about loneliness for all ages and contains a guide to loneliness which includes causes of loneliness, its impact on individuals and advice to help people who are experiencing loneliness.
Helping others tackle loneliness and isolation
Campaign to End Loneliness - A network of national, regional and local organisations and people working together through community action, good practice, research and policy.
Tackling Loneliness Hub - This website brings together organisations, resources and inspirational stories that are united in a shared aim, to get more people talking about loneliness.
Befriending Networks - Befriending Networks is the UK's leading resource on befriending. Their members enjoy access to the latest research, training and advice to help them provide continuously high quality service.