A volunteer and an elderly care home resident smiling at one another.

Friends for Life Bedfordshire

Friends for Life Bedfordshire is a Bedford-based local charity, which works to reduce the social isolation of people in Bedfordshire’s care homes. PWCF supported the organisation to equip new volunteer befrienders who offer company and friendship to care home residents.

Friends for Life Bedfordshire (FFL) recognise the negative impact loneliness has on a person’s well-being and helps to alleviate this by recruiting volunteers to become personal befrienders offering friendship and company to residents who most need it. Most residents benefiting from FFL befrienders are older people who receive few or no visitors. FFL offers befrienders to any resident who is in need and work closely with the care homes, Bedford’s Older Peoples Social Work Teams and the wider community to identify need within Bedford. 

In 2019, PWCF supported FFL with a small grant to continue extending their befriending service within Bedford Borough. As well as providing ongoing support to existing volunteers, FFL held 7 Welcome Training Days equipping 30 new volunteer befrienders with the insight and tools needed to become successful befrienders. The number of FFL befrienders increased from 50 to 80, providing much needed company and friendship to over 80 residents in Bedford’s care homes.