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Opportunities for support, companionship, and practical help.

Befriending and Good Neighbour services are great ways to combat loneliness and isolation if you have difficulty in getting out and about.


Befrienders are volunteers who keep in touch with you and provide companionship and conversation. Befrienders can keep in contact with you by:

  • telephone - arranging to talk to you at a pre-arranged time
  • visiting you at home

Useful contacts

Royal Voluntary Service (previously WRVS) Befriending Scheme - Volunteers offer home visiting to provide company, accompanied walks and trips out, accompanied participation in social activities and groups. Developed by Royal Voluntary Service, NHS Dorset, Age Space and Volunteer Centre Dorset to provide low-level support to people at home, helping them to remain independent, engage with their local community preventing social isolation. For further information contact the local Scheme Coordinators listed below.

Ashley Heath Befriending Scheme: Scheme Co-ordinator Lynne Caffell on 07843 357206

East Dorset Befriending Scheme: Call on 077368 25302 (Ferndown), 07435 974825 (Verwood), 07736 825378 (Wimborne)

Age UK North, South & West Dorset offer a telephone Befriending Service. To be able to use the service, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • over 60
  • have your own landline or mobile phone
  • able to hear and be understood over the phone
  • able to commit to a regular weekly call at the same time.

For further information and to sign up refer to their website, email or contact them by telephone:

01305 269444- Dorset Council area, excluding East Dorset

01202 530530- East Dorset Council area

Dorset MIND – offer a Befriending service for up to a year for anyone who is aged more than18 and experiences mild to moderate Mental Wellbeing Challenges. They can help people that would like support to develop positive mental wellbeing and anyone who is ready to take active steps to work towards recovery goals which will include reducing social isolation, improving confidence and self-esteem.

Independent Age provides a service offering regular phone calls - 0800 319 6789

How it works

  1. You sign up for as long or as short a time as you like.
  2. You’ll catch up with your volunteer at a regular time that suits you both.
  3. If you decide your volunteer isn’t working out, you can let us know and we’ll find you someone else.
  4. You won’t be charged – friendship is free!

Find a befriending service on our Community Directory

Good Neighbours

Good Neighbours services are also provided by volunteers. As well as providing company and friendship, a Good Neighbour can offer practical help such as collecting a prescription, running errands or changing a light bulb. Some may even be able to take you to the shops or to an appointment.

Find a Good Neighbour on our Community Directory