Befriending service

A picture of a male befriender and female befriendee sitting down, having a coffee and a chat.

Vista’s befriending service gives you the chance to regularly meet with a volunteer who can help you to enjoy a favourite activity, get out and about or just have a coffee and a chat.

We do our upmost to match you with a volunteer who we think you will get on well with, and who will visit you on a regular basis.

We also offer a residential short stay befriending service, where a volunteer visits you during your stay at one of our residential homes and on your return home for up to twelve weeks in total.

Meeting with a befriender can make a real difference and lead to a lifelong friendship. There is a one-off fee of £20 once successfully matched to cover the service for a year. 

If you would like to be supported by our service, you must be:

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Living in own home, or a residential home, within Leicester, Leicestershire or Rutland. Please note we cannot accept referrals from nursing homes. 
  • Have a significant sight loss and be under a consultant ophthalmologist, and/or be registered as sight impaired or severely sight impaired

In year 2 of the project, the one-to-one befriending service has supported 60 people with sight loss and their volunteer befrienders, and the respite and short stay service has supported 47 residents and befrienders.


We would like to thank our volunteers for their outstanding contribution, providing 2,636 hours in 1,231 visits for people with sight loss in the last 12 months.

Befrienders

Could you spare a couple of hours a week? 

There are many ways you can help make a difference to a person’s life. You could share a leisure interest, go for a walk, or simply sit and chat together.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender, please visit our volunteer vacancies page for more details.

Vista’s befriending service is funded by the National Lottery through the Big Lottery Fund.

Find out more

For more information, please contact one of our team below.

Case studies

View all case studies

Peter

Peter

I get on so well with my Befriender, and it’s good to hear about the news in our local community.

Peter, 83, who lives at New Wycliffe Home, was diagnosed with sight loss two years ago.

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Sheila

Sheila

Vista's befriending service has helped me to continue living a full and happy life.

Sheila developed wet macular degeneration almost ten years ago. After being registered as partially sighted, she was referred to Vista.

Read more