New befriending service gets off the ground

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We are really excited to be working with Volunteering Matters to deliver a volunteer telephone befriending service to people serving community sentences or on license in the North West, North Yorkshire and Humberside.

The aim of the project is to support those are feeling isolated, lonely and in need of a warm, positive, chat and support.

This is a new and exciting initiative for Nepacs, and is already making a difference for those it supports, many of whom have no local support from family and friends.

One service user commented: It means so much to get a call and to be able to talk to someone during the week. I don’t really talk to anyone else.

Probation staff have highlighted that our Nepacs befrienders are able to have the conversations with service users that probation staff want to have but may not have time to do, for example discussions about their interests and what they have been up to that week. A recent conversation was about the much debated interview of Meghan and Harry. As well as general conversations, we have been able to encourage people to make the most of the way they spend their time during the pandemic, such as advising people about positive podcasts, health living, exercise and mentoring schemes for those who have recently lost a limb and are struggling to adapt to their lives with a physical disability. We have even helped someone set up online shopping as it was expensive to get a taxi to and from the supermarket.

One befriender commented: I feel emotional coming off that call knowing that I have made such a difference to that person’s week. They sounded so happy to hear from me, we were even laughing by the end of the call. This was very different to the call last week when he was very quiet.

The service will be available 7 days a week for five months and will be delivered by our team of trained volunteer befrienders.

Thank you to all the volunteers who have come forward since the project started on 1 February and expressed an interest in getting involved.

If you would like to know more about the project contact Emma Price (