Be a friend

The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) is looking for befriending volunteers from Bowburn, Coxhoe, Trimdon, Fishburn, Kelloe and Sedgefield areas to help with a project aimed at improving the health, wellbeing and quality of life for local people.

The Health Buddy scheme offers flexible, short term assistance to people over 50 years of age from trained volunteer befrienders.

Health Buddies develop trusting relationship with clients, helping them with shopping or attending medical appointments, encourage them to engage with social activities or groups and access services, or simply take the time to listen over a cup of tea.

This regular chat provides a vital link into the community to those who can be socially isolated because of restricted mobility or because their family and friends don’t live close by.

Barbara and Brenda’s story
(click here for Youtube video)

Click to see Youtube videoBarbara is a Health Buddy volunteer for PCP and supports a range of clients including Brenda, aged 90 from Fishburn. Barbara visits Brenda once a week and stays for just over an hour. The visits vary depending on specific tasks Brenda may need support with but generally they chat and “put the world to rights”.

Barbara works full time and fits in her volunteering on her day off. Brenda is on her own all day long since losing her husband last year. Her family live away in Switzerland and she has no relations nearby.

Brenda says “I miss my husband, he did an awful lot for me, I hate being on my own and I find myself watching telly, dozing off, waking up and I look for John but he’s not there; I haven’t got used to that yet. I also struggle to get out so seeing a familiar face and knowing Barbara is coming really gives me a focus to my day and I enjoy our time getting to know each other.”

Barbara says “If I can’t afford to give an hour to someone who sees no-one and it makes such a difference to their day, and life I think ‘why not’? I’m a good talker and Brenda’s a good talker so we have plenty to say. I think everybody should do it because it’s a marvellous service and it makes a big difference to people’s lives.”

If you know your community, are patient and reliable then this could be an ideal opportunity for you. The Health Buddy scheme is funded by East Durham Rural Corridor and a full training and support package will be provided by PCP.

If you are interested in this volunteering role or if you know someone who would benefit from having a Health Buddy, please contact Fiona Chrichard, Health Buddy Development Worker, tel: 01325 321234 email: based at the Pioneering Care Centre, Carer’s Way, Newton Aycliffe, DL5 4SF. Visit:


-13th May 2015