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Project information

Essex Befriending

Age UK Essex will expand its Telephone Befriending service for people aged 60 and over. Clients will receive weekly contact with a trained volunteer. This will help to reduce social isolation and loneliness.

January 2018 - July 2018

Charity information: Age UK Essex

Age UK Essex logo
  • Need


    Loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health: research shows that lacking social connections is as damaging to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Feedback from our Home Befriending and Active Lives annual review form show that 12% of the target population reported that they cannot leave the home at all, with another 49% being unable to leave home without assistance.


    Evidence confirms that prevention and early intervention have a positive impact on the health and well-being of people who are lonely or socially isolated. As well as providing regular contact, it is also the perfect way to keep a friendly eye out, and to direct people to other Age UK Essex and external services if they have problems.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Increase the number of clients receiving a weekly telephone befriending call.


    » The service will be advertised using social media, Age UK Essex website, posters and leaflets at strategic locations such as GP surgeries.
    » Other voluntary sector organisations will be made aware of the service and at various multi-sector meetings throughout the county.

    What success will look like

    Success will be number of clients increasing as reported by service delivery manager.

    Aim 2

    Increase number of telephone befrienders


    » The volunteering opportunity will be advertised using social media, Age UK Essex website.
    » Visiting clubs and groups across the county, the Voice Network's team of volunteers will deliver talks about the service.

    What success will look like

    Success will be number of clients increasing as reported by service delivery manager.

  • Impact


    There will be decrease in reported levels of social isolation as recorded in annual review of clients.


    Not recruiting enough suitable volunteers:
    Age UK Essex has an experienced team who are resonsible for recruiting, training and retention of volunteers. All volunteers are fully CRB checked.

    Older people not involved in process:
    Voice Network volunteers gather the views of older people and feed them back to the Age UK Essex, local authorities and key decision makers.


    Donors will be recorded on Salesforce and, if permission is granted to contact them, will be kept informed of progress by email.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,208

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £5,732 Salaries Proportion of Volunteer staff salaries
      £200 Staff travel For reviews of volunteers and clients
      £643 Volunteer expenses Travel to training venue, phone bills
      £2,000 Volunteer recruitment Advertising, recruiting, training and CRB checks
      £888 Office overheads Utility bills, IT support etc.
      £745 Management support Proportion of Head of Service salary
  • Background


    The proportion of the population of Essex who are aged 65 or over is 18.3% (the national average is 16%). Of the 14 local authorities across the geographical area of Essex, 10 have a higher percentage of 60+, 70+ and 85+ than the national average. The population aged over 65 is expected to increase by 45% by 2021, with the numbers of people aged 85 expected to rise by 75%.


    Our Befriending Service is available to people over the age of 60 who are living with the effects of loneliness or social isolation. They can self-refer or family, friends and other organisations like social services can put them in touch with our team.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Age UK Essex has been providing essential support to older people for 65 years. In 2015-16 we worked with 60,000 people aged over 50 across the whole of Essex. Our services range from Home Help to Befriending, Toenail Cutting to Advocacy.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Head Of Volunteering Service

    Will be responsible for recruitment of volunteers and reporting on success of project.

    Training Coordinator

    Induction training, including Age UK Essex and service specific role.