Sutton Vision: Adrian volunteers as a telephone befriender

Sutton Vision shares their story, just ahead of Befriending Week, of Adrian who volunteers as a telephone befriender for them.

Sutton Vision befrienders support visually impaired people in the borough. Their roles vary and can be face to face or remotely. Their befriending service covers telephone befriending, walking buddy, 121 befriending in the community and home visiting including home admin for visually impaired people.

Sutton Vision Adrian 6x4

Adrian, pictured above right, has been a telephone befriending volunteer with Sutton Vision for 8 years, being visually impaired himself he enjoys supporting his peers with regular phone calls, friendship and a listening ear – this is what he says about his role.

“A typical week sees me make phone calls to a small group on a Thursday morning. There’s a real mix of men and women and the youngest person I speak to currently is 67 and the oldest is just over 100 years old.

I enjoy talking to everybody, regardless of their age, background or situation. This can be people living in care homes, alone in their own home or even living with family members. We can speak weekly or fortnightly and some choose to have a shorter check in of a few minutes, whereas with a couple of others I will regularly be talking for over an hour each time I call.  This decision is made by the person accessing the service and this may change each time we talk. Some people like to talk about TV programmes that they have seen or books that they have read, others talk about themselves or ask me about what I have been up to. Being visually impaired myself, I have a certain amount of understanding and feeling with talking to those living with a sight loss through my own experience, journey.

When I pick the phone up on a Thursday morning, I never know what I’m going to talk about or for how long but it doesn’t matter. Volunteering gives me as much, as it does for the person who receives my call.”

If you are interested in becoming a Sutton Vision befriender please contact Amanda Larter on 0208 409 7166 or for more details.

Here are some of the roles on Simply Connect:

There are also roles to help with social media, technology, driving and with social groups.

If you are interested in volunteering generally email to arrange a 1:1 Volunteer Advisor session to help you find your match