Everybody should have someone to talk to. SIS matches people, with a shared culture and language, together to create friendships that make life better.
Migrants, particularly the most recently arrived, are especially vulnerable to loneliness and isolation.
Telephone Befrienders can make a real difference to one person’s life.
A regular weekly phone call is a positive social experience that relieves isolation and other social stresses. It is distraction from everyday problems, can boost confidence, connect people with the community, help with integration and provide a sense of purpose.
Befrienders need to have time, motivation and energy, in order to create what can be a special and unique relationship. The role also requires patience, flexibility, understanding, mutual trust and respect.
“I really enjoy chatting to the SIS befriender, it helps lift my mood”
Spanish speaking service user
“I really love being a SIS Volunteer Befriender, I have built great relationships with my new friends. Most of the calls are really engaging but this depends largely on the mood of the SU at the time. They sometimes don’t pick up or are very quiet. Conversations range from 15 mins to 1 hour”
Arabic and Farsi speaking befriender
SIS Bilingual Telephone Befriending is delivered in partnership with Together Co Befriending.
We have been working together since 2017, we held two consultation events to help with understanding about loneliness and isolation in migrant communities and co-design bespoke, translated promotional materials that clearly represented target communities. These were distributed and promoted through grassroots community groups, religious venues, employers with ethnically diverse workforces, and via a mailing to individual service users. They are also on our language specific web and Facebook pages.