Project information

Buddy Up - Age Uk Newcastle Befriending Service

At Age UK Newcastle we try to combat loneliness in later life in a number of ways, our ‘Buddy Up’ befriending service is a vital lifeline for many older people. For some their weekly visit from their befriender is the only person they see and the only contact they have with another person.

January 2017 - January 2018

Charity information: Age UK Newcastle Upon Tyne

Age UK Newcastle Upon Tyne logo
  • Need


    Its difficult for us to imagine a day don’t see anyone, when no one calls in, no one phones, or e mails or texts or tweets or face-books you… when you have no contact with anyone else from getting up to going to bed.
    Imagine that this was the same every day. Loneliness ruins older people’s quality of life; it affects their health and leaves them feeling isolated, depressed and unable to cope with living independently.


    Being there for those who need us is often helping to provide the little things that can make a big difference. Whether it’s having someone come round to help with the shopping, a friendly call or visit each week and somewhere to go to make new friends. One of the ways we try to beat loneliness in later life is through our Befriending Services with weekly visits from trained volunteers providing companionship to an older person.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To ensure older people do not feel lonely and isolated in their local communities


    » Facilitate links with local volunteers and older people – providing a bridge to the local community;
    » Recruit and train additional volunteers to build upon our current portfolio of friendship services

    What success will look like

    On-going feedback from our customers is key. We will continuously evaluate the success of the service from customers comments and case studies.

    Aim 2

    Enable older people to re-engage with the community and have the increased confidence to go out.


    » Create opportunities for older people and the wider community to come together.
    » We will match people with people and activities, facilitating circles of support to create networks with others.

    What success will look like

    By the number of older people who go on to access other community resources including Age UK Newcastle's own services like our Active Ageing exercise programme or Lunch Clubs.

  • Impact


    The service helps older people to re-engage with the community. It is also gives people the opportunity to have an ‘ordinary’ conversation, which makes it completely unique compared to other statutory services.
    It gives older people a feeling of belonging and purpose and results in increased self-respect and also importantly self-confidence. For many people it is lifeline. We will report to donors on a quarterly basis detailing progress against the aims and activities.


    This service is a charitable activity and there is no charge for it. Each year it becomes more and more difficult to obtain funding for the service and we rely completely on income generation to fund this lifeline for many older people in the city. Without this much needed funding the service would simply cease to exist.


    We will report to donors on a quarterly basis detailing progress against the aims and activities outlined in the project plan, and informing them of any changes to the project plan.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £39,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £28,000 Staffing Costs Befriending and Volunteer Manager and Sessional Staff
      £5,000 Service Delivery direct costs of running the service including volunteer training and expenses
      £6,000 Marketing and Promotion, adver Marketing and Promotion, advertising costs

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Barbour £5,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The location of the project is across the City of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
    Our approach is to move away from thinking about people and communities in terms of their problems and needs towards thinking about the potential they have to take greater control of their lives, encouraging more people to become active in their communities.


    The population of our city is ageing, putting increasing pressure on services and meaning more older people are turning to us for support. There are currently 41,000 people over 65 living in the city and this is projected to grow to 45,300 by 2020. Although people are living longer, many of those extra years are spent in poor health. We currently support over 80 customers each week with this service and demand is constantly growing.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are an independent, local charity (1041000) with our own Board of Trustees and have been working with and for older people in the city since 1965. We offer services and support that meet the needs of older people in all their diversity. We employ 180 staff and 133 volunteers. Volunteers form the life blood of our charitable activity and currently contribute the equivalent in time of over 30 staff into the organisation on a weekly basis.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Kaye Turner

    Kaye has significant expertise relating to the needs of older people, as well as strong leadership and people management skills.

    Yvonne Shanley

    Our Volunteer and Befriending Manager, has worked for over 18 years in the Adult Social Care sector and 5 years working for the Age UK network.

    Jim Smith

    Our Befriending Assistant has 18 months experience volunteering as a ‘Community Buddy’ with Age UK Newcastle, he is also employed as a care assistant.