One-to-One Befriending Volunteer

Elder Tree Ltd.

Name: One-to-One Befriending Volunteer
Organisation: Elder Tree Ltd.
Location: 3 Tresillian Street, Cattedown, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 0QP
Type: Part Time


(18+) We are looking for volunteers who can visit an older person who is isolated or housebound on a regular basis. You will be a very positive influence in the older person’s day, help to bring a smile to their face and your visit will probably be the highlight of their week.

Typically as a befriender, tasks would include:

- Visiting a client for a chat/cuppa
- Assisting a client with choosing books/reading or other activities
- Taking a client for appointments if appropriate
- Taking a client shopping if appropriate

Each client/volunteer relationship is assessed and boundaries of your role will be agreed upon before we assign you to a client. Our one-to-one volunteers visit a person in their own homes usually for approximately 1 hour a week. The times and days are left for the volunteers and beneficiary to agree mutually.

Request Organisation Contact Details


Register Now

Please login to request organisation contact details.

Organisation Description

The Elder Tree supports vulnerable and socially isolated older people in Plymouth. We promote and enable their continued independent living and provide weekly access to 37 clubs and activities across the city. Our main efforts are concentrated in areas of recognised social deprivation and are delivered in partnership with statutory and voluntary and community sector partners. The majority of our activities are offered at either minimal or no cost. We have over 420 beneficiaries who are supported by a small part time salaried staff and 55 volunteers. The service is an innovative partnership with and is partly funded by Plymouth City Council. The key to its success is that it is locally based.

Our Core Activity is 'One to One' Befriending now in its 17th year. We currently support 35 of our more socially isolated and vulnerable beneficiaries in their homes. Our Befrienders are predominately volunteers all of which have received comprehensive training and are DBS checked.

The Second Element is Promoting and Maintaining Social Independence. This is delivered through a series of weekly lunch and supper clubs that are held at various locations across the city. There are also regular coach and mini bus trips around the region.

The Third Element is Active Minds. Weekly quizzes and craft events, reminiscence sessions, two community choirs, a unique 'access to the theatre' club and IT Classes providing mental stimulation and companionship.

The Fourth Element is Active Steps. This is a low impact programme of physical activity that is delivered in various locations across the city - the sessions also incorporate a 'drop in' element where one of our project workers is on hand to provide advice and information across a wide range of issues. Active Steps includes 17 exercise and movement classes - we deliver separate classes for the more able and classes that are designed specifically for armchair/wheelchair beneficiaries, 4 Tai Chi classes, weekly access to swimming and a cardio fit class. The programme has expanded rapidly over the past 15 months and we have 250+ over 60s who take part in at least one hour low impact exercise a week. The mix of social engagement, advice and signposting and light exercise contributes significantly to improving the self-esteem and promoting the continued independent living of our beneficiaries. This has also been a catalyst in many cases to new and supportive friendships and the recruitment of volunteers for our charity.

The Fifth Element is Active Volunteering. This is at the core and drives everything the charity does. Our volunteers support us in various ways.


  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun

Cause / Interests

  • Elderly
  • Mental Health

Types of Activity

  • Befriending and Buddying
  • Driving
  • General and Helping

Skills and Qualifications


Volunteers need a good command of English and be willing to undertake an Enhanced CRB check.

Additional/Specific Suitabilities

Minimum Age: 18
Maximum Age: NA
Disabled Access: No
Wheelchair Access: No
Expenses: Yes - Travel Expenses
Restrictions: NA
Induction: Yes
Insurance Cover: Yes
Special Needs: NA
Offer: Yes
Training: Training can be provided if appropriate to the role.
Other: Please Note: An enhanced DBS check is required for this role which will be paid for by the organisation. Please contact the volunteer co-ordinator by telephone/email or both. It will take at least one week to respond to volunteers from first contact.

Recruitment Method

Application form, Informal discussion, References, DBS Check