Community Befrienders

We support lonely and isolated adults in Hackney in person or over the phone.

Volunteer just an hour a week as a befriender, and help us fight loneliness, one of the UK’s most urgent public health issues.

About the Service

Our expert team receives referrals for lonely and isolated City and Hackney residents from healthcare professionals and other support organisations every week. Bridget and Tom – our Community Befrienders team– then contact the person, get to know them, and match them with a trained volunteer.

All you need is an hour every week to check in with someone who is vulnerable. We’ll match you with the right person, based on your interests, schedule, language, and whether you’d like to meet in-person, or speak on the phone or online. We’re also here to support you throughout your volunteering. What you end up doing together is up to you! Some of our volunteers play pool with their befriendee, watch films, or listen to music. Others go out to cafes or for walks in the park. Some just chat on the phone or online.

Join us, and help make sure people who are isolated or lonely feel valued.

How To Get Involved

To find out how to get started as a volunteer, or to refer someone to our service, click one of the buttons below.


Give back in a way that works for you – join our friendly team of volunteers. The more volunteers we train and pair up, the more people we can help.
Get started

Refer a client

If you are a healthcare professional, you can refer patients to VCH’s Community Befriending service. Simply fill in our form and we will be in touch.
Fill in our form

Read a case study

Find out more about some of our befrienders and our service users.
Find out more

I’ve gained a really great friend, someone that I now feel really close to and care about deeply. I really enjoy it and couldn’t recommend it more.

Rudi Edwards – Volunteer Community Befriender

Want To Know More?

To find out more about the Community Befrienders service and its impact, or to speak to us about working together, get in touch with Bridget or Tom.

Bridget Akinbolaji

Community Befrienders Programme Manager

Tom Bradley

Community Befrienders Coordinator

We use cookies on our website to deliver, maintain, and improve our website. For more information about how we use your data, read our privacy policy