Are you a good listener?

Are you a good listener?

Are you a good listener? Do you care about others and have time to spare to help people?

Suffolk Family Carers, a local charity based in Claydon, and we are looking for friendly, empathetic and caring people to volunteer for our telephone befriending service, Talk and Support.

So what is Talk and Support? We match each volunteer with a Family Carer who we feel could really benefit from having someone to talk to on a regular basis. What is a Family Carer? A Family Carer can be anyone of any age, who looks after somebody because of ill health. They might look after a frail family member, a partner suffering from a long term physical or mental health illness, their own child, or even a friend or a neighbour. It doesn’t matter who the person is, or what their health needs are, the Family Carers lives will be restricted as a result of looking after that person. Being a Family Carer can be a very isolating, lonely and worrying experience, and that’s where Talk and Support can really help.

The Family Carer might have a particularly difficult role, or be feeling quite isolated, and just have no-one else to talk to. The volunteer makes a regular telephone call to the Family Carer, offering emotional support, a listening ear, and a friendly chat.

“Talk and Support helps me feel more supported,” says one of our Family Carers. “Somebody you don’t know is taking the time to talk to you, finding out about your life, and interested, it’s really nice. I do feel isolated at times, and the calls help me to feel less so. It’s something, somebody ringing me, to speak to me about how I am and listen, that’s worth its weight in gold.”

It really is a rewarding volunteer role, and can even be carried out from the comfort of your own home. So if you work or have mobility or transport issues you can still volunteer for a worthwhile service, and feel the satisfaction of helping others.

What do our volunteers say?

“I really enjoy the role, there’s nothing I don’t enjoy. I look forward to calling my Family Carers.”

“I like to know I’m helping people, doing something for other people.”

“I enjoy making a difference to someone’s life. I really enjoy the conversation with John.”

Talk and Support was accredited with an Approved Provider Standard from the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation in 2013, and was described as a “strong project with robust systems and processes in place to support both volunteers and Family Carers”.

We now have quite a long waiting list of people wanting to receive Talk and Support, and not enough volunteers to match them with. If you would like to volunteer for Suffolk Family Carers in this important volunteer role, or indeed if you just want to find out a bit more, please do get in touch for a chat. You can speak to any member of the Volunteer Project on 01473 835450.

We fully train all volunteers to ensure you are well prepared for your role, and we also pay for expenses incurred. We also provide a warm and welcoming environment, and all the support you need to feel really comfortable in your role.

Suffolk Family Carers is a registered Charity in Suffolk. For a quarter of a century, we have been providing front line health and social care services to Family Carers and have been partners in providing training and other Family Carer support all over Suffolk. We ultimately seek to minimise the hardships, difficulties and other challenges Family Carers face, to raise awareness of Family Carers and ensure their voices are heard throughout Suffolk. From a shoulder to cry on to providing appropriate information on benefits, we are here to help.