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BELIVE Befriending Volunteer

BELIVE’s Purposes:

To provide a person-centred befriending service for local people with a learning disability aged 18 plus who live in Medway or Kent. Either face to face, telephone service or both.  Due to Covid, this will now be via telephone, zoom, or Whatsapp Video.

To promote a sense of belonging, improve self-esteem, confidence, identity, wellbeing, and for the relief of isolation, poor mental health and, loneliness.

What activities will I be involved in?

You may be asked to befriend a person face to face or, talk to them over the telephone, depending on the person’s needs. For example, shopping, reading, socialising, job centre interview, visiting family or, home visits for a chat. You may also be asked to do fundraising on behalf of BELIVE.

What skills and abilities will I need to have?


  • Must have a non-judgemental attitude
  • Committed for a minimum of six months
  • Flexible
  • Good sense of humour
  • Honesty
  • Reliable
  • Trustworthy
  • Confidentiality except safeguarding issues
  • Ability to write/record your duties after each contact
  • Available for support/training
  • Telephone


  • All volunteers will be subject to an enhanced DBS check
  • Learning disability/difficulty awareness
  • Good listening skills
  • Willing to learn new skills
  • Full driving licence
  • Own transport

What might I gain from this volunteering opportunity?

  • Develop new skills
  • Improve confidence
  • Meet new people
  • Enhance your CV
  • Further opportunities to develop within BELIVE
  • Have fun
  • Opportunity toShare transferable knowledge/skills
  • Work as part of a team

What training& support will I receive?

  • Induction
  • Core training i.e., safeguarding adults, disability awareness, confidentially, lone working, ongoing training tailored to your needs
  • Ongoing 1-1 support or group support

How much time should I offer?

Having a flexible approach is essential, as this role will be dependent on the needs of the person.  However, a minimum of 1-2 hours a month to be arranged between volunteer and the person.  For example, half an hour a week, 1 hour a week or, fortnightly will be appreciated.

Where will I be based?

You will be required to arrange where and when you meet the person you are befriending.  For example, this may be at the home, in the community or, talking over the telephone. See above.

Will my expenses be paid?

Travelling expenses will be paid on a monthly basis at a cost of £0.45p per mile for car users or, if travelling by public transport the most economic route will be paid.  Plus, any other expenses by submitting receipts.

How to Apply

Please apply by completing an application form, see contact details below.

Contact details

Theresa Hammond-Chair:  07977696658 or, email:

Becoming a volunteer driver

We are seeking volunteer drivers to help us take predominantly older people to medical and social appointments in the Canterbury district.

Many of our beneficiaries are unable to access public transport for a variety of reasons and are often socially isolated, lonely or vulnerable in some way.

Becoming a volunteer driver is not just about driving, its also about making meaningful contact with people who wish to remain independent within their own homes and who often have little contact with the outside world.

You can make a real difference to the lives of so many by sparing a little time each week!

Mileage cost will be refunded.

To apply, click here

What Is Micro or virtual volunteering?

During these unconventional times, the nature of volunteering has changed and it can be hard to visualise volunteering being equally as useful when it’s not in carried out person or in the traditional sense.

If you consider, however, that volunteering by its very definition entails people undertaking activities of their own free will for the benefit of the community then it is irrelevant however this goal is actually achieved.

So, this is where micro and virtual volunteering come in to their own.  These are easy, quick, low commitment actions which take place remotely so keep people safe but still enable you to volunteer effectively. . . this is the perfect solution for the way the world is today!

Certainly, for organisations who wish to quickly expand their volunteering opportunities and increase the diversity of their volunteers, this is a “must-do” rather than a “nice to have” option and the benefit to the beneficiaries of any organisation at present are easy to comprehend.

To put it simply, this type of volunteering reinvents the idea that people want to help, but don’t know how, don’t have time, or don’t know what they can actually do. These types of opportunities offer people a series of tasks that can be done at their own pace and that fit in with their time commitments, their lifestyles, wherever or however they are.

Its not rocket science and can be as simple as sharing a message, writing a blog, liking posts on Facebook or delivering some useful equipment for an organisation in need.

This type of volunteering also avoids the spectre of ongoing commitment for volunteers and allows people to give as much or as little of it can and, at the same time, builds that connection with organisations and causes that is so vital for so many.

It may come as a surprise to see how much volunteering can be done virtually or remotely. In a 2016 study, it was found that over 80% of activities could be done in this way.

By welcoming this type of volunteering into your organisation, it will significantly boost volunteer engagement. And, if you are looking to volunteer, this is convenient, considers how much time you’re willing to offer and enables you to get involved in volunteering despite the current circumstances. It allows you to undertake small action that has a big impact for any cause of your choice whether that’s an environmental, scientific, a local or a community project.

If this post has tickled your interest, please do not hesitate to contact the centre to find out how you can micro or virtually volunteer today.

Be part of our team at the Canterbury District Volunteer Centre. Click on our offers below for more information.

Telephone befriender


You can apply directly on the link above or contact us HERE

Written by virtual volunteer Emily Clugston

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Currently, our befriending service matches individuals who are isolated, vulnerable or lonely with volunteers who provide social contact and support on a regular basis. 

We can offer telephone befriending, face to face/home visiting  befriending and event Zoom befriending.

We aim to match the volunteers in relation to the clients’ specific needs. We take the security of both our volunteers and client’s safety seriously, therefore, every volunteer has to undergo a DBS check, and we have a robust Lone Working Policy in place. 

If you would like further information about our befriending service please contact us here.

We are always seeking more befrienders to contact lonely or socially isolated older people in the Canterbury district. To apply, please, click here.


Social Transport

Jackie Harvey, who is based in our Herne Bay office, is our transport coordinator responsible for the management of our social car scheme in the Canterbury district. This scheme is aimed at the provision of a low-cost service utilising volunteer drivers (who use their own car) to transport people to and from medical and social appointments. Due to a current shortage of drivers in the Canterbury part of the District, we sometimes have to use drivers from Herne Bay to take people to their appointments.

Our volunteer drivers are like gold dust to us both in the Canterbury and Herne Bay areas.

Our transport charges are as follows:

Client registration – £15.00 per year (renewable each January)

Our volunteer drivers charge clients 60p per mile (to cover wear and tear on their vehicles) plus £3.00 per return trip to help with administration costs.

These charges are for clients booking individual trips. When we do contract work we provide quotations from the office and the administration charges are scaled according to journey length and times involved.

Usually, our volunteer drivers provide more than just a vehicle but also give the people they transport moral support and often wait them at local hospitals and doctors to ensure that they are supported whilst undergoing a potentially stressful experience.

If possible, we ask our clients to give us a week’s notice so that we can contact our drivers in good time – this is due to the fact that we have many more enquiries for our service than we could possibly fulfil.

For more details contact us: T: 01227 287751


Please note that the transport office is now open to enquiries between 9.00 am – 1pm Monday – Thursday.

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Referral and Support of Volunteers

One of the core functions of any Volunteer Centre or Bureau is the referral of volunteers. On average we deal with approximately 1000 volunteers per year. Our aim is to match up the skills of volunteers with the volunteering opportunities offered by organisations.

Increasingly, we are receiving requests for volunteering opportunities from emails, or those who have accessed potential opportunities the online database of volunteering opportunities or from the Kent Volunteer website

The basic tenet of volunteering is that the volunteer engages in this activity of their own free will and, consequently, they get some return from engaging in this process. Obviously, the organisation they volunteer with gain from the volunteer’s participation but the volunteer also benefits. The benefits gained by the volunteer are many and varied and can include:

  • Learning new skills
  • Becoming more confident
  • Puttting some volunteering experience on their CV
  • Getting a reference
  • Doing something they enjoy
  • Finding new interests
  • Staying active and healthy
  • Getting out and meeting people
  • Giving something back to the community

For more details contact us: T: 01227 452278


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