- Telephone based. Times to suit you.
Aurora befrienders offer one-to-one telephone support for local people affected by cancer.
What is a befriender?
A befriender is someone who has experience of cancer and wishes to support others who are going through a similar situation. This could include listening to people’s emotional, physical and practical concerns.
Befrienders are able to provide understanding and a listening ear, based on a shared experience. They can also offer practical tips, and a chance to talk to people who are newly diagnosed or undergoing treatment.
What is the role of a volunteer befriender?
A befriender provides telephone based support to individuals who are affected by cancer, including carers and family members over the age of 18.
The befriender will offer an understanding of issues facing someone living with cancer – they do not meet in person or in a person’s home.
The frequency of support will vary dependent on the needs of the befriendee, but will have a limit of no more than one call per week. The length of the telephone call is at the discretion of the befriender, but a maximum of 1 hour.
Could you be an Aurora befriender?
What we’re looking for:
- Friendliness, sensitivity and patience
- Empathy and resilience
- Good communication skills
- An ability to put your own cancer experience to one side in order to listen to others
- None judgemental and able to listen to others without giving advice
- An interest in helping others and promoting independence and well-being
What you can gain from offering your support
- The knowledge that you are making a meaningful contribution to a person’s recovery
- Comprehensive training and development
- Being part of a friendly supportive team
- New skills and a rewarding experience.
What to expect
Confidentiality, training and procedures
- The befriender and befriendee’s confidentiality and safety is of the highest priority at all times.
- Prior to any calls being made, you will complete an Aurora volunteer application form, followed by a short telephone conversation with the care navigator who will discuss any queries and questions you may have.
- You will receive either an online or telephone induction training session facilitated by Lew Webb, Aurora’s highly experienced counsellor.
- The training will include; Aurora’s policies and procedures, listening and responding, confidentiality, and the differences between support, information and advice.
- As the role involves working with vulnerable individuals, all befrienders are subjected to an Enhanced Disclosure Scotland check (criminal records check) & will be asked to sign a confidentially agreement.
The befriendee & befriender relationship
- Possible befriendees will be identified by an Aurora Wellbeing Practitioner (WBP).
- A WBP will then contact you with details of the befriendee (inc diagnosis, treatment & brief background) and ask whether you would like to support the befriendee or not.
- The frequency of support will vary dependent on the needs of the befriendee and yourself but will have a limit of no more than 1 call a week. The length of the telephone call is at the discretion of yourself but a maximum of 1 hour.
- Brief note-taking will be required.
- There will be a debrief with a WBP following each telephone conversation made.
- You will receive regular supervision from Lew Webb.
- Unfortunately, any expenses which you may incur are not refundable.
Contacting the befriendee
- The befriender will contact the befriendee to introduce themselves and to arrange a convenient date and time for the conversation.
- The befriender will contact the client on the arranged day, using caller ID.
- At the end of the conversation, the befriender and client will arrange a date for the next call.
- After the call, the befriender will debrief with an Aurora wellbeing practitioner and email the meeting notes.
- If the befriendee or befriender is unable to make a befriending session, they are to contact the befriending coordinator who will rearrange the call.
- If the befriender has any concerns or queries during their time as a befriender, they can contact the befriending coordinator, Emma Walker.
If you would like to become a befriender for local people affected by cancer, please call Emma Walker on 01909 470985 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
We look forward to hearing from you.