How we can help you...
or someone you'd like to refer
Community Connections is an informal, local befriending scheme which helps people to stay connected and avoid feeling lonely.
The scheme provides company and support to older people who are socially isolated and live in Monmouthshire
What kind of help does the scheme provide?
We link local volunteer ‘befrienders’ with people who require a little company at home or need help to get out to access local facilities, appointments and activities. We also arrange social activity groups, outings and events to bring people together. People may appreciate a visitor for an hour or two each week, or an outing to the shops or a social group. Some people may be happy with occasional contact, others may prefer a regular arrangement. We take time to get to know people and often link people up based on interests or experiences.
Who can receive support?
The scheme supports people over 50 years of age who are socially isolated. People become isolated and may feel lonely for a range of reasons; having little or no nearby, supportive family; adjusting to mobility problems and sensory loss; recovering from illness, bereavement and other life changes; moving into the area; being no longer able to drive.
How can people get this help?
People who would appreciate befriending support can contact us themselves or be referred to us via another organisation, neighbour or family member. We provide written information and discuss the scheme with people who are referred at an initial visit made by a member of scheme staff.
How do I know the scheme is safe?
Volunteers are checked with the Criminal Records Unit and provide us with two character references. If volunteers are driving as part of their role we make sure they have a license, appropriate insurance and that their car is safe. Volunteers are given training to ensure that they behave in a safe and respectful manner. Project staff explain to volunteers the support needs of the people they are befriending to make sure they act in an appropriate way for the individual.
How do I know that volunteers won’t talk about my situation with other people?
Volunteers are required to behave in a confidential way and will not share information about the people they befriend. If however a volunteer has any concerns regarding a persons safety or wellbeing they are expected to discuss this with a member of project staff, the project manager will decide what we need to do to ensure the safety of the individual concerned.
What if I don’t get on with the person who I am linked with?
You will have regular contact with the project coordinator who has made befriending arrangements with you and you may raise any concerns if and when they arise. We will review befriending arrangements with you and adapt them where appropriate and possible. An arrangement can be stopped at any time if necessary.
What if I don’t feel like meeting other people or going out?
We appreciate that not everyone feels like being sociable and we know that some people struggle with new situations and meeting new people. For some people a little friendly support to get to the shop is enough social contact, for others attending a busy coffee morning or Christmas party is something that is enjoyed. The scheme aims to be flexible around preferences and personalities and we provide support relevant to individual befriending needs.