Befriending referrals

Posted on 6th June 2019

CHEER has been helping the local community and changing lives for over 65 years, providing help with benefits claims, one-to-one befriending visits by volunteers, events to promote social interaction and signposting to other services. 

Over the last year we helped to secure over £300,000 of benefit income for our clients, held 19 events with over 200 attendees and provided 32 clients with a volunteer befriender to visit them once a week. We are a small charity with a big impact and we are proud of the difference we make to people’s lives.

Earlier this year, we expanded our services into the west of the borough which meant that we are receiving more requests for help. At the same time, we lost a valuable member of staff and recruiting a replacement took a few months. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we are having to recruit a new staff member again.

All of this has had an impact. With more and more requests for our help and a shortage of staff, our waiting list has grown and people are having to wait longer than we would like before we visit them for benefits claims and befriending services.

We are working very hard and doing everything we can to overcome these setbacks. We have engaged temporary help and our existing staff are working extra hours.  

However, we have come to the conclusion that we cannot keep people waiting for very long periods before we visit them. This is especially so with befriending services as it can take some months before the right volunteer for the client is available.

Therefore, as a temporary measure, we are unable to accept any further referrals for one-to-one befriending until the people who have been on our waiting list for a while have been matched with a suitable volunteer.

In case of immediate need, Silver Line offer a telephone befriending service. Their number is 0800 470 8090 and their website is https://www.thesilverline.org.uk. If the person you wish to refer is mobile and would be interested in attending CHEER events, please contact us to add them to our events invite list.

We are sorry to have to take this step, but we hope you will understand and bear with us until we are fully resourced.    

Janis Fletcher

Chair of Trustees

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