Telephone Befriending Volunteer Role

MV (Merton Voluntary Association for the Blind)

This is us: MertonVision was formed in 1965 with the purpose to deliver the highest possible quality services to the blind and partially sighted within Merton. Our enduring goal is to support and empower the visually impaired all the way from their diagnosis through the entire rehabilitative process.

Telephone Befriending Volunteer Role

Our telephone befriending volunteers play such an important role in helping to reduce the feelings of social isolation and loneliness experienced by many of our service users.  As a telephone befriender we would ask you to call 1 or maybe 2 of our service users regularly to offer support and to build a friendship with them. We always try to match you with someone who has similar interests.

The times and days are flexible and to be decided between you and your chosen client: if you can only spare half an hour a week to call 1 person that can make an enormous difference to that person’s life. As a telephone befriender you may be the only person someone speaks to that week and, in the aftermath of the pandemic the need for volunteers to take on this role has increased substantially. We cannot emphasize how happy and grateful the clients are that use this service: for some it is a real life line.

A typical week for a Telephone Befriender:

  • Calling your MertonVision service user/users on your agreed time and day
  • Chatting to them, providing a listening ear for up to 30 minutes
  • Asking after their health and wellbeing and responding to any worries or concerns they may have
  • Ensuring they are being supported and finding out if they need any assistance

 

Testimonials:

“…it (the call) was the highlight of my week”

“It was so lovely to chat with (Volunteer), she is so friendly and understanding.”