dark purple background. Text says Befriending Week 1-7 November 2021, Celebrates Everything, Hashtag Befriending Is

What is Befriending Week?

Befriending Week celebrates the powerful impact befriending has on individuals who are experiencing isolation and loneliness. LGBT Ireland data revealed that a significant portion of Helpline calls was from older people calling about isolation and loneliness.

To mark Befriending Week, we talked to Telefriending Volunteer Coordinator Sean Vail. Sean highlighted the difference that a listening ear can make in creating community and decreasing loneliness. Sean discussed the importance of the service being LGBTQI+ specific:

“One of the highlights of our service is that many people have not come out yet. So, it is nice for them to talk to somebody who has shared lived experience [because] they can open up about a lot of things”.

three people working together to put up a volunteer poster on a telephone booth. Two of the volunteers are posing with their phones as if they are talking to someone who is using the telefriending service.

Telefriending Service for Older LGBT+ People in Ireland

LGBT Ireland’s Telefriending service is specifically designed for older LGBT+ people in Ireland who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness. The national service offers a weekly telephone call to older LGBT+ people from friendly volunteers who are also members of the LGBT+ community. Therefore, these volunteers are specially trained and Garda vetted.

The service will place particular emphasis on connecting people in rural parts of the country.
LGBT Ireland tele-friending service promotion
LGBT Ireland wants to raise awareness about the service among Carers, Home Care providers, Public Health Nurses and Community Nurses who work with LGBT+ older people. Similarly, family members can help their older relatives sign up for the service as well.

Register for the service and find more information by visiting https://lgbt.ie/telefriending/.

Inquiries about Telefriending?

Call us on 01 437 1209 or email us at [email protected].