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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Thrower

Time to Talk Befriending marks its ninth birthday

Updated: Mar 24, 2023

Founder and CEO of the south coast charity, Emily Kenward, can hardly believe it is more than nine years since Time to Talk Befriending was formed. Not long afterwards she, and her mother Julie, who volunteers for the charity, were commissioned as Anna Chaplains. The team has expanded since to include Charlotte, offering spiritual and religious care where appropriate.

The Spring 2023 newsletter explains, ‘From Jubilee postal packages to sing-a-longs, letter writing, home visits sharing cups of tea, poems and stories written for our newsletters, and photographs with the Queen (well her cardboard cut-out anyway!), last year was quite eventful.’

For indications of just how busy 2022 it was, they report:

  • Number of befriending matches between older people (average age 82) and volunteers (mostly aged 20–55): 432.

  • Number of older people accessing our group befriending with support/transport: 163.

  • Match ends (usually due to death, volunteer or member circumstances change): 235.

  • New matches made: 210.

  • Number of individual reviews: 485 (with our scheme members and volunteers).

  • New volunteers recruited: 179.

  • Number of volunteer training/workshops (in addition to compulsory induction training): 8.

  • Enhanced befriending for people who are living with dementia: 55.

  • Information/signposting/re-referrals: 371.

  • Newsletters and Jubilee packages sent out via the post: 1607.

‘In 2023,’ says Emily, ‘we will be focusing on business as usual while behind the scenes reviewing data from scheme member and volunteer surveys (December 2022). The outcome of this review of our survey findings will help inform the strategic development of the charity.’



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