Someone to talk to when you need them most


The Befriending Service and our Volunteers

Our core Befriending Service is open to any older people who may feel isolated or lonely.

Befriending is a service provided by Age Concern Southend. We match Volunteer Befrienders with older people (our clients) in Southend and the surrounding areas to receive weekly visits or telephone calls.

It is a free service. One of the only free Befriending Services in the local area.

All Volunteer Befrienders are DBS checked and would have signed a Volunteer Agreement.
If you would like to Volunteer as a Volunteer Befriender, do get in touch as per details below and complete a Volunteer Application Form.


We offer the following types of Befriending: 


Group Befriending – Coffee and Conversation 

For Befriending clients who are able to travel, we have our Group Befriending – Coffee and Conversations at our premises in Hamlet Court Road.

These are currently held on Mondays and Thursdays between 10am-12pm and Wednesdays 1:30pm-3:30pm

Telephone Befriending

Weekly phone calls from matched Volunteer Befriender to client. All Volunteer Befrienders are DBS checked and would have signed a Volunteer Agreement.


Face-To-Face Befriending

Weekly face-to face visitations from matched Volunteer Befriender to client in the comfort of their home. All Volunteer Befrienders are DBS checked and would have signed a Volunteer Agreement.


Client Referrals and Criteria

We take Client Referrals from family, friends, individuals, organsiations, GPs, NHS or Health and Social Care providers.

We welcome all referrals but do set out guidelines for Client Criteria which are to be considered before sending through. Please do get in touch if you have any questions regarding your referral or call us to discuss if you are unsure whether a client meets the criteria.

You can view our Client Referral Criteria here. If you have any questions, please do call or still send through the referral detailing your enquiry.

Please consider there may be the need for exceptions to be made at the Befriending Service Coordinator and Befriending Service Manager’s discretion if a Client is determined as in need of the service but may not meet the exact criteria. 

Please allow 3-5 working days for a Client Referral to be processed. We ensure that you will be contacted by our Befriending Service Coordinator to inform you of the contact made to the referred client.

Please note that going forward, we DO accept Dementia Patients. We have Safeguarding Measures in place to accommodate Clients with Dementia. In some cases, we may suggest handing over the referral to our Dementia Day Centre within our Community Hub in Hamlet Court Road.

If you are able, please complete our Client Enquiry Form and return it to us by hand or email to Befriending Service Coordinator Sam Crump at

Alternatively, please contact our Befriending and Volunteer Recruitment Service on 01702 345 373



Leah-May Carter
Befriending Service & Volunteer Recruitment Manager

Sam Crump
Befriending Service Coordinator

Diane Pilgrim
Befriending Service Coordinator



Follow by Email