Telephone Befriending Role

What is the role?

We have a number of individuals across West Warrington who are isolating and are living alone with limited friends or family support. As a Telephone Friend you will be matched with an individual who has been referred to us whom you will call on a regular basis to check on their well-being and provide a friendly ear.

As a Telephone Friend it is not part of your role to be a counselling service; we are simply providing a lonely person with someone to chat to on a regular basis.

Can I talk about faith?

Although this scheme is co-ordinated by West Warrington Church we would ask you not to discuss religion/prayer with your friend unless your friend starts a conversation on this.

What checks do I need go through to become a volunteer?

Please complete the Telephone Friend Application Form. You will also need to have a brief interview about the role with our scheme administrator.

If you have not already been safely recruited through your church, you will need to supply us with two referees and complete a confidential declaration form. You will also need to have a short telephone interview with one of our team members.

Who do I report to?

You will report into a scheme administrator who is a member of West Warrington Church who in turn reports to Councillor Amanda King the lead co-ordinator for the West Warrington Coronavirus Volunteer Support and the church oversight committee.

How often do I need to call?

As a minimum we would ask that you check in with your telephone friend at least once a week. However, it will be down to you and your friend to decide if you want to call in any more frequently.

What do I talk about?

This is a general “hi, how are you” type of call. As part of your volunteer pack you will be provided with a sheet giving you some conversation starters. You will also be provided with a continuation sheet where you can record items from your phone call to help you follow on your conversation the next time you call. E.g. Mrs Mills has a cat called Jasper, so next time you can ask “how is Jasper”.

What do I do if my friend needs something?

You will be provided with a FAQ sheet (which we are sure will evolve over time) to help you to answer some questions you may be asked specifically relating to the current situation. You will also have an escalation process to forward any issues to.

How do I cover the cost of my phone calls?

We would ask that you try wherever possible to use the cheapest way of calling. For example, a lot of landline to landline calls in the evenings are free. Some people also have inclusive minutes on their mobile phones which they are able to use. We understand there may be situations where call charges are unavoidable. We will address this on an individual basis and through our fundraising efforts make a contribution to the phone bill.

What training do I need?

You will be required to undertake a 10-minute training session by video conference or phone. This training session will equip you with some tips on listening well and being able to spot any warning signs or crisis from the individual on the end of the phone.

How do I protect myself?

You will be provided a volunteer handbook which includes recommendations on how to keep yourself safe as part of your volunteer pack. This will include instructions on how to withhold your number.

What do I do if something goes wrong?

If you are worried about anything concerning this role or the individual you are phoning we would ask that you contact the Scheme Administrator who will escalate your concerns to the correct place. You will be provided with numbers of who to contact just in case.

Still want to be a part of this an help?

Complete the Telephone Befriending Application and return it to our Scheme Administrator on this email address: telephonebefriending@westwarringtonchurch.uk.

Should you have any further questions about this role please contact our Scheme Administrator on the email address above.