Adult Befriending Service

The Adult Befriending Service offers befriending support to people aged 60 years or over. Our aim is to keep older people in their own homes independently for longer

Please see below for full details of the different befriending options available:

1 to 1 Befriending

We offer a 1 to 1 befriending service which matches a trained volunteer befriender with an older person, aged 60 years or over (befriendee). The volunteer will visit their befriendee once a week for about an hour. They might take their befriendee out on trips, go to a café, visit the library or go shopping together. However, it might be that the befriendee just wants someone to visit and chat to them; to share memories or interests; to reignite their enthusiasm for a favourite hobby; or receive support with IT or other practical activities. Activities and support will be very much dependent on each individual’s needs and preferences.

If you would like a 1 to 1 befriender, please complete the Self-Referral Form.  If you know someone who would benefit from a 1 to 1 befriender, please complete the Referral Form.

Group Befriending

We also offer group befriending for people aged 60 or over and have 3 popular groups currently running. These groups are ideal if you are able to get out and about and would like to meet new people.

Scribble & Scrabble Group, Life Centre, Kirkwall         Monday 1.30-3.30pm

Evergreen Group, Life Centre, Kirkwall                         Tuesday 1.30-3.30pm

Games Group, Life Centre, Kirkwall                              Thursday 1.30-3.30pm


Contact us on 01856 872897 to find out more about these groups.

Telephone Befriending

We offer a telephone befriending service if face-to-face befriending is not possible or appropriate.  This may be due to clients self-isolating or worried around Covid, clients living in remote locations, or that there are no suitable volunteer befrienders to visit face to face at the time.  Telephone Befriending can offer some personal contact and the chance for a chat, even if you can’t share a cuppa!

If you would like a telephone befriender, please complete the Self-Referral Form.  If you know someone who would benefit from a telephone befriender, please complete the Referral Form.

Becoming a telephone befriender

If you would like to become a telephone befriender we would love to hear from you. Give us a call on 01856 872897  if you would like to find out more.

What skills do I need to be a telephone befriender?

  • Good telephone manner
  • Friendly disposition
  • Ability to listen, as well as talk
  • Empathy
  • Calm manner

What are the hours/time commitment?

Flexible but on average 1 hour per week

Do I need a phone?

Not necessarily. If you do not have a phone, calls can be made from our office in Kirkwall. Alternatively if you have a phone, you can make the calls from  your own home and we will reimburse the cost of the calls.



B.A.L.L. Groups

Currently we have 3 Be Active Life Long (B.A.L.L.) Groups in rural and island locations. The purpose of these groups is to help promote health and active ageing within local communities through gentle exercise, hosting activities with speakers and coffee and chat.

Shapinsay B.A.L.L Group – Shapinsay, Monday 10.30 am-12.30 pm.  Contact Alison Meason 07867 622814

Holm B.A.L.L. Group – Holm Community Centre, Monday 2 – 4 pm. Contact Charlotte Spence on 07470 131176  for further information.

Burray B.A.L.L. Group – Burray Hall, Wednesday 2 – 4pm. Contact Charlotte Spence on 07470 131176 for further information

Intergenerational Befriending

We also run Intergenerational Befriending Groups at different locations throughout the year. The aim of these groups is to get young people engaging with people aged 60 or over. New groups will be advertised here when they become available.

I want to Refer Someone to the Service

Do you know someone that could benefit from having a befriender?
Find out how to refer to the service…

If you you feel you could benefit from having a befriender yourself you can self-refer:

I want to Volunteer as a Befriender

Interested? All your questions answered here…

Case Study

Gary is one of our Befrienders living in a very remote location…

Privacy Notices

Please see our privacy notices below if you would like more information on what information we store to help us run this service.

Contact Us

Members of Staff

Sarah Kelly, Co-ordinator, has overall responsibility for the service: supports the team on the day to day operation of the service; undertakes development work for the scheme; and secures on-going funding.

Kasia Barnett, Development Worker, main focus 1 to 1 matches, group befriending and Intergenerational Befriending.

Kathy Potts, Development Worker, main focus 1 to 1 matches and Group Befriending.

Charlotte Spence, Development Worker, has responsibility for setting up and supporting BALL Groups and Lunch Clubs.

Telephone number 01856 872897


Adult Befriending Service

Voluntary Action Orkney

6 Bridge Street



KW15 1HR

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