We are proud to support all members of the UK’s fire services community from the moment of joining, throughout their career and into retirement. We have evolved over time to offer comprehensive services to ensure all our beneficiaries’ health and wellbeing needs are met – and just one way we achieve this is through dedicated social support for our retired beneficiaries. 

Could you be a Telephone Befriender? 

Launching this summer, Fire Friends is a telephone befriending service providing social support and connection to our retired beneficiaries through a weekly telephone call.  

We’re looking for dedicated, friendly volunteers to call members of our retired community as ‘befrienders’ and this role may include: 

  • Sharing stories and life experiences 
  • Asking questions to get a conversation started  
  • Talking about hobbies and interests 
  • Listening to what is said and allowing space and time for answers 

Loneliness and isolation can have a negative impact on all aspects of life, so Fire Friends offers support and friendship to help alleviate these feelings. Receiving a regular phone call can bring comfort and friendship at a time of life when it’s really needed and can make a huge difference to someone’s life. 

How will a telephone befriender support beneficiaries? 

As a Telephone Befriender you will: 

  • Undertake scheduled social telephone calls to retired beneficiaries on an agreed date and time 
  • Update beneficiaries on our services and activities, signposting them where appropriate to the Service Access Line or to our online or face-to-face Living Well Groups 
  • Ensure confidentiality, appropriate boundaries and safe practices are in place, protecting yourself and the beneficiaries you speak with.

As a Fire Friends Telephone Befriender, you will be friendly and approachable and able to show empathy and understanding with those you are speaking with.  

It is important in this role that you are a good listener and interested to hear what our beneficiaries may want to chat about. As you will be arranging the telephone calls, it is important that you are reliable and committed to the role. We ask that you commit to approximately 45 minutes per week. 

Training and support for you 

As a volunteer, we will support you to make a difference to the lives of those people you will be talking with. Supported by the Community Development Lead, our Telephone Befrienders will receive a full induction to the role. We will also help you with ideas on what to talk about it, as we are aware it can take time to build a relationship with new people and provide tips on how to listen and ask questions.  

Training for this role will include an overview of the befriending service as well as safeguarding awareness and professional boundaries training, as it’s important that you are confident in identifying and raising concerns. Training will be delivered digitally over Zoom and we will provide guidance on using Zoom should you be unfamiliar with this. 

You will need to have a smart phone, tablet or laptop and be able to log into our telephone system from where you will make a call. There are no call charges associated with this service, but you will need WiFi to access our telephone system.

This role will be subjected to a Disclosure and Barring Services Check (DBS). 

We welcome applications from all sections of the community. When recruiting our new team members, we are looking for people who share our values.  

How to apply 

To register your interest in our befriending, please complete the application form below or call us on 01256 366 566. We will then send an application form to you. If you are suitable, we will arrange to discuss the role with you and once suitability has been determined we will then take up references and undertake identity and DBS checks.

  • Please let us know how you are affiliated to the fire and rescue services.
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