Telephone befriending – training package

News by: Rhiannon Stocking-Williams (Ready Friends Coordinator, RVA)

Keeping in touch with people if you are feeling lonely and isolated has never been more important and this need will increase as the weeks pass. Existing befriending schemes are now switching from face-to-face to telephone-based befriending. Other voluntary, neighbourhood and community groups are looking into how to make the most of their volunteers to offer telephone befriending to their clients across Reading. New groups are popping up, often at a street level and want to set up telephone befriending.

For any organisation wishing to start up or transition to a telephone-based befriending service, take a look at the training package on the Ready Friends webpage: (

For anyone wanting to set a telephone befriending scheme from scratch, there are lots of important things to think about to make what you are offering safe and reliable for your group, your volunteers and for the people you want to help. You will need to have processes in place around:
-Data handling
-Volunteer recruitment and induction
-Volunteer training, support and supervision
-Paying volunteer expenses and managing costs

If you find anything in the training materials that you don’t understand or would like more information on, please get in touch with Rhiannon by email at

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