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 Tel/Minicom: 01603 404440
Fax: 01603 404433
Email: nda@norfolkdeaf.org.uk

 

@norfolkdeaf

 

 

 

Befriending Service
 

The befriending service offers support and friendship to members of the community who experience differing degrees of hearing loss (from being profoundly deaf, BSL users or hard of hearing).

 

They are referred to us by Social Services, friends and relatives, hospitals, church groups, or are self-referred.  The service users can be living in their own homes, sheltered housing or residential or nursing homes.  They could be lonely, depressed or feel isolation, but, whatever the reason, our aim is to enable a service user to overcome problems and difficulties. We do this by matching each client with a carefully selected volunteer/befriender.

The need for Befriending is demonstrated in the words of one of our service users:

 

 

“Mary has a severe hearing loss and became widowed after 42 years of marriage, losing her only link to the hearing world.  She became depressed and isolated, lost all confidence and after 18 months could not venture out.  Mary has been referred to NDA by a medical professional and was successfully matched to one of our befrienders.  As a result Mary gained companionship from a volunteer who also has a hearing loss.  Together they share experiences, and have spent much of their time together in laughter, often about the situations they find themselves in.  Mary is more confident and is already able to go to the shops and to go for medical appointments.”  

 

 

This simple case illustrates the difficulties faced by profoundly Deaf people in order to live life normally like everyone else, as communication poses problems.  Unfortunately, most people do not have signing skills and this narrows down potential friendships.  As a result, frustration takes over and can lead to isolation and depression for the Deaf person.  This has a strong emotional effect on the person’s brain and statistically 40% of Deaf people have mental health issues whereas non-Deaf people only have a record of 10%. Sadly, Deaf people are five times more likely to commit suicide because of the loneliness caused by this lack of communication. The Befriending Service is here to prevent such effects and upsetting thoughts. 

All befrienders undergo an initial training programme to equip them with the skills required for the role and require references and enhanced CRB checks before being allowed to work with service users.  Further training is provided at least twice per year in order to maintain professional standards.

 

Befriending is a relationship between a trained volunteer  (a befriender) and a service user (befriendee) within a structured and supervised programme.

The Befriending Service offers support and friendship to members of the community who experience any degree of hearing loss (from being profoundly deaf, BSL users or hard of hearing), as well as being by affected by issues such as loneliness, isolation, mental health issues or disability. They are referred to us by Social Services, friends and relatives, hospitals, church groups, or may self-refer.  The service users may be living in their own homes, sheltered housing or residential or nursing homes.  They may be lonely, depressed or isolated but, whatever the reason, our aim is to enable a service user to overcome these problems.  We do this by offering the very special support a volunteer/befriender can provide.

 

We can enhance the quality of a befriendee’s life by supporting and promoting his or her welfare and personal development.

 

Service users are able to:

 

Express their concerns and feel listened to and understood.

Find companionship, friendship and practical support.

Develop self-help and coping skills.

Improve family relationships.

Reduce anxiety and stress levels.

Improve their self-esteem and confidence.

Reduce isolation and the sense of exclusion.

Service users become more able to cope with their lives outside the befriending service.

Increased their social activity.

Explore new skills and opportunities as a result of the changes encouraged and facilitated by the Befriender

 

  
Contact
 

You will find more details about our Befriending Service on our “Volunteers” pages.

 

Do you have a relative or friend who you think could benefit from our Befriending Service? If so,

 

Please contact Pam Spicer at :

Tel: 01603 404440 or

 

Email: befriending@norfolkdeaf.org.uk

  

 

 

 

Befriending Application Form

Click here to download a Befriending application form.

What our service users say
 

" I always look forward to my volunteer's visit. My family are so busy and they don't have time to visit during the week. It is so nice to share my memories with someone."


" Because of the support of her volunteer, my daughter has found some independence and is able to enjoy her own interests."


"My mother in law has been able to join the Lip reading class now. Something that we have tried to encourage her to do for years"