Delivering Christmas Gifts

Members of the Engage staff team were out and about this week delivering Christmas gifts to the isolated older people we know who have been unable to have their usual face to face visits this year. They have been so appreciate of phone calls from their befrienders but we wanted to bring them a little additional Christmas cheer through door step delivery. Thanks to everyone who made it possible.

Telephone Befriending Referrals During Covid-19

We’re extending our new telephone befriending service in response to the Coronavirus risks in the UK.

If you are or a relative of yours is over 55, living alone, and would like someone to call once a week during this difficult time, please fill in our Referral form and email it to

If you have any queries, please call 0118 956 7000, when asked select option 2 and leave a message. The answering machine is being checked regularly and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Telephone Befriending Volunteers During Covid-19

Due to pausing our in-person visits because of the high risks of Coronavirus in the UK, we have moved all our befriending visits to phone calls. We want to extend this service to anyone in Reading who is over 55 and living alone.

This means we need you! If you already have a DBS check and you are willing to call an isolated person who is over 55 just to talk, we will provide online training and support for you.

Here’s our Volunteer Application Form. Once you have filled it in please email it to

Any queries please call 0118 956 7000, when asked select option 2 and leave a message. The answering machine is being checked regularly and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


We have paused all our face-to-face visits to our clients for the time being. This is to keep both our clients and volunteers safe in the current circumstances. However, in order for us to continue to connect elderly people in Reading with a befriender, all our current clients are receiving regular phone calls.

We are working on extending this phone befriending service, there will be more information to follow shortly.

Volunteer Training

Can you spare an hour per week to visit an older person living near you?

Our next volunteer training events are Tuesday 24th March 7.30pm and Thursday 26th March at 10am.

To book in call Engage Befriending 0118 9567000

Or email

Friendship Volunteer Evening

Engage Befriending recently joined with other partners in the town to celebrate those who volunteer in friendship roles. Tackling loneliness is important and it only takes an hour or so of volunteering to make a significant difference in someone’s life. The evening was designed to celebrate all those who do this within organisations across the town.

The evening included food, opportunity to meet other volunteers, Keynote speeches and a table exercise which encouraged sharing of some great ideas. Well done to Rob and Roy, from Engage Befriending, who took part in the live chat show!

Watch the video to enjoy an overview of the evening.

A great way to support Engage Befriending:

The Coop will give 1% of everything you spend on Coop branded products to Engage Befriending between now and the end of October 2020.

What do I need to do?

  1. If you are not already a Coop member, use the following link to become one. (It costs £1)
  2. Nominate Engage Befriending as your chosen charity via your online members account.
  3. Present your members card whenever you make purchases at the Coop.

What will this do?

By choosing to support Engage Befriending in this way, you will be helping to finance the provision of volunteer befrienders who visit older isolated people in the local community. Many of the people Engage Befriending visit experience loneliness on a regular basis but say that having even one visit a week makes a significant difference to how they feel about themselves.

Mary told us , ‘I really look forward to Pauline’s visits as she really cheers me up. Before she came I couldn’t go out but now she takes me places and I get to do things again.’

Engage Befriending are excited to have been chosen as a Coop local community cause and your support through this scheme really will make a significant difference. Thank you.