Forget-Me-Not Befriending

What is the Forget-Me-Not Service?

This service is a volunteer based befriending scheme for older people who are isolated and who live in Redbridge. This can be either via a weekly home visit or phone calls, Monday to Friday up to five times a week.

In addition to providing companionship it also acts as a welfare monitoring service. Referrals are accepted from other agencies or directly from the older person or their family.

What people say about Befriending

‘Sometimes I don’t speak to anyone else for days’

‘Although I have never met the volunteers who phone me I feel they are my friends’

‘My visitor is so cheerful, I always feel better after she comes’

What is telephone Befriending?

Anyone aged 60 and over can receive a morning telephone call up to five times per week, Monday to Friday — it is your choice. The volunteer will chat to you, check-up on your wellbeing and follow up if there are any problems.

Our staff will refer you to appropriate services where requested or to our Advice and Information Service.  The service is available if you live on your own or have a frail partner.

What is a visiting Befriender?

A visiting Befriender visits an older person once a week or once a fortnight. The visit is for about an hour for a cup of tea and a chat.

To be eligible you should have no more than three contacts per week with other services and have few visitors and unable to attend other social provision such as day centres.

How do I know it’s a quality service? 

We are recognised as providing a quality befriending service to older people and are often asked by other organisations for guidance on setting up their own befriending schemes.

What should you expect from us?

If you apply for either of the Forget-Me-Not services our assessor will call  you to discuss your needs. Our assessor will then discuss with you if the service is of interest to you.

If you feel you would like the service you will decide how frequently you want calls and a date will be fixed for the service to start. If you are requesting a visiting volunteer the assessment process will involve one or more visits to your home to discuss it with you. There may be a wait while we find a suitable volunteer in your area.

What we expect from you

If you are going out at a time when you are due to receive a call, please let us know. If we call and get no reply we might assume there was a problem and you were unable to get to the phone.

An emergency procedure (optional) is offered as part of the service whereby if we do not get an answer when we would expect you to be at home we will make effort to locate you and, if necessary, alert the emergency services. Our co-ordinator will discuss this with you when you first contact us.

How much does the service cost?

The service is free to all Redbridge residents who meet the criteria above.