Telephone Befrienders

There are many people who are lonely and living in isolation across Poplar and Bow and this affects their health and quality of life dramatically. The support offered by befrienders gives companionship through the opportunity to talk to someone friendly on a regular basis. This is a project in the making, hoping to launch in November 2018. Please complete the application below to be considered as part of this exciting new pilot at the Linc Centre.

In this role volunteers will make a telephone call once per week from one of our community centres to support someone who would benefit from a friendly half an hour chat. Volunteers will be matched with one or two telephone friends.


Description of Tasks

  • Make calls to your telephone friend at the time and day agreed by you and Poplar HARCA
  • To help encourage and enable your telephone friend to become more confident through your friendship and support.
  • Engage in fun and lively conversation over the phone
  • Encourage your telephone friend to attend the monthly sessions just for users of the Telephone Befriending service at their local community centre
  • Develop and maintain appropriate boundaries and confidentiality with other volunteers, colleagues and callers
  • Adhere to all Poplar HARCA policies and procedures.


Requirements : Skills and Knowledge

  • Excellent listening and communications skills – if English is not your first language it may be possible for us to match you with a telephone friend who shares your mother tongue.
  • A genuine desire to support isolated people
  • To deliver the service within the guidelines of the role description and your training
  • An appreciation of the issues facing isolated people
  • The ability to be supportive and non-judgemental regardless of the persons background, age and life choices.
  • The ability to encourage and motivate another person
  • Have a good understanding of the need for confidentiality
  • To maintain a relationship based on trust you must be reliable
  • Flexible to meet the needs of your telephone friend



We ask our volunteers to commit to 1 – 2 hours per week for a minimum of a year where possible – you will have the opportunity to discuss your availability as part of your volunteer interview. You will be expected to attend a thorough training session as well as regular group and individual support sessions with your assigned PH Contact. You may be asked to undertake further training once you’re volunteering.


What can we offer?

  • You will have a full induction followed by ongoing support
  • You will have a named PH Contact and regular opportunities for volunteering review sessions
  • You will be offered opportunities to attend training relevant to your role and to centre activity
  • You will receive agreed travel expenses, and can claim lunch expenses if you volunteer for more than five hours a day
  • We will provide you with an honest reference regardless of how long you are with us
  • We are committed to provide a safe and supportive environment.


All volunteers are required to complete an application form, attend an informal interview and give two referee’s details. You may also be required to undertake a criminal record check which we will pay for. If successful your volunteer role will begin with a 1 month trial period.

1 Start 2 Equality Monitoring 3 Complete

If you are under the age of 18 we require permission from your parent or guardian prior to you volunteering

More about you
Who should we contact in an emergency?
Please provide contact details of two referees who are both willing to provide a character reference. This will involve answering questions on a range of topics from your strengths to areas for development and your time management.

Unfortunately we cannot accept references from family or friends. If possible, at least one referee should know you from work, education or volunteering. There are lots of people suitable to provide references, if you are struggling to think of anyone suitable please get in touch and we can discuss your options.

Reference 1
Reference 2
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Terri Calbraith

Volunteering Coordinator

0207 536 8865


Becs Marshall

Community projects & Partnerships Officer

0207 538 5748

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