Respite/Short Stay Befriender Volunteer

  • Location Kathleen Rutland and/or New Wycliffe Home and in community close to where you and the people we support live
  • Hours Flexible day/time with a minimum of 1 hour a week over a twelve week period

To volunteer with a person with sight loss before, during and after their short residential stay in one of Vista’s specialist homes for older people. The aim is to improve their self confidence, health and emotional well being, reducing their social isolation and promoting their independence.


  • To provide practical and emotional support and reassurance during the transition between residential stay and return to own home
  • To visit a person with whom you have been matched, building a relationship of friendship and trust
  • To provide the person with some company and/or enable them to pursue leisure interests in the community 
  • Where appropriate to assist with essential shopping on return home
  • To complete a visit sheet after each visit and to participate in regular reviews with the Respite Befriending Officer
  • To liaise with Vista staff or other agencies as appropriate
  • To uphold Vistas core principles, vision, culture and values and abide by policies and procedures as per Vistas volunteer handbook.

Qualities and skills we are looking for:

  • To be reliable and have a genuine interest in, and desire to make a difference in the lives of older people with sight loss 
  • Good communication skills 
  • Patience and a warm and friendly attitude
  • Volunteers must be over 18 years of age.

Support provided for you:

  • You will be required to attend the two day Befriending Induction as well as half a day induction at either or of the residential homes. You will also be invited to participate in further training and/or networking events which may be offered. The general induction includes safeguarding vulnerable adults, visual impairment awareness training and specific information for Befrienders.
  • Ongoing support will be given by the Respite Befriending Officer either in person or via the telephone. Regular reviews will take place and an opportunity given for peer support through networking events with other Befrienders. 
  • Regular newsletters, updates and news from the Volunteer Manager and Befriending Service at Vista
  • Other training as identified
  • Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses such as mileage or public transport costs. 

This volunteering opportunity is subject to a DBS check and sets out the duties of the role at the time when it was drawn up. Such duties may vary from time to time without changing the general climate or level of responsibility entailed. 

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