Contact us now on: 01795 473828 Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Email us

The Befriending Service

The New Connections Befriending Service has been providing one to one support for older people who are socially isolated for over 25 years.

"I look forward to my visits with my Befriender. We sit and look through my old photos. It's great to relive those old memories."

– A Client, aged 91 years


Loneliness is one of the biggest 'illnesses' affecting our older people with more and more living alone; often without the support of their family. Alarmingly, over half of older people consider their TV to be their main form of company. Loneliness can have a huge effect on both physical and mental health.

The New Connections Befriending Service is continually growing to meet the needs of the local community; providing a one to one service to older people who are socially isolated with weekly visits from a volunteer Befriender, or a friendly weekly phone call from one of our telephone befrienders. This helps to promote confidence, independence and wellbeing.

Once a referral has been made the Befriending Co-ordinator will visit the client to explain how the service works and ensure that they meet the criteria.

The Befriending Service is for those who are:

  • Elderly (55+)
  • Resident in the Borough of Swale
  • Living in isolated circumstances or have little social contact
  • Aware of, and have agreed to, the referral

The Befriending Service is not able to:

  • Provide emergency or acute support
  • Offer services to people with specific mental health needs
  • Provide services which are the responsibility of the statutory sector
  • Carry out any personal care, housework, or other domestic tasks
  • Undertake caring responsibilities

Below is a list of activities the befriending service provides.

All clubs are managed by Paul our befriending co-ordinator.



Our Lunch Club offers clients a monthly social event where they are able to meet new people on a regular basis and enjoy a sociable meal together, enabling them to engage socially and enhance their quality of life. Clients are required to meet the cost of the meal which takes place at a different restaurant in and around the Swale area each month.


Our Social morning offers befriending clients a monthly club on a Friday where they are able to meet new people on a regular basis and enjoy games, art and craft, quizzes or just a good old natter with a cuppa, enabling them to engage socially and enhance their quality of life.


Our film club is held monthly and offers befriending clients a chance to meet new people and watch a film.


We are able to offer a few trips out a year to places of interest. Examples of previous trips are; Herne Bay Sea front, Eastchurch Aviation Museum, Doddington Place Gardens, Notcutts and The Alexander Centre for a sing along. These trips give clients the opportunity to get out and about whilst meeting new people.


These sessions allow clients to gain new skills or improve their existing skills with all things digital from using an iPad or tablet, to their mobile phone or laptop. It also allows them to socialise with each other as the sessions are in groups.


Referrals can be made via:

  • Health professionals/Social Services
  • Family
  • Other agencies


To enquire further ring Paul on 01795 473828 option 2 or email


Swale CVS
Central House, Central Avenue, Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 4NU

Registered Charity Number 1179734

Volunteer centre NAVCA Quality Award