Contact us now on: 01795 473828 twitter-icon.jpg email-icon.jpg

The Befriending Service

For over 15 years the New Connections Befriending Service has provided one to one support for older people who are socially isolated.

"I look forward to my visits with my Befriender. We sit and look through my old photos. It's great to relive those old memories."

– A Client, aged 91 years


Loneliness is one of the biggest 'illnesses' affecting our older people with more and more living alone; often without the support of their family. Alarmingly, over half of older people consider their TV to be their main form of company. Loneliness can have a huge effect on both physical and mental health.

The New Connections Befriending Service is continually growing to meet the needs of the local community; providing a one to one service to older people who are socially isolated with weekly visits from a volunteer Befriender. This helps to promote confidence, independence and wellbeing.

Once a referral has been made and a volunteer has been found, the Befriending Co-ordinator will visit the client to explain how it works and ensure that they meet the criteria.

The Befriending Service is for those who are:

  • Elderly or have a disability
  • Resident in the Borough of Swale
  • Living in isolated circumstances or have little social contact
  • Aware of, and have agreed to, the referral

The Befriending Service is not able to:

  • provide emergency or acute support
  • offer services to people with specific mental health needs
  • provide services which are the responsibility of the statutory sector
  • carry out any personal care, housework, or other domestic tasks
  • undertake caring responsibilities

Our service is free to all users.

Lunch Club

Our Lunch Club offers clients a monthly social event where they are able to meet new people on a regular basis and enjoy a sociable meal together, enabling them to engage socially and enhance their quality of life. Clients are required to meet the cost of the meal which takes place at a different restaurant in and around the Swale area each month. Transport to and from the venue is provided free of charge by the Swale Volunteer Centre Transport Scheme. The Lunch Club is managed by the Befriending Co-ordinator and run by volunteers.

Referrals to the Befriending Service & Lunch Club

Referrals can be made via:

  • Health professionals/Social Services
  • Family
  • Other agencies

To enquire further ring Louise on 01795 473828 or email

Swale CVS
Central House, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4NU

Registered Charity Number 277523

Volunteer centre NAVCA Quality Award