A caring, listening presence in Guildford.
The heart of community angels is relationship. We all need relationships with others, to have a place we belong and points of connection. There are many people in Guildford who feel cut off from their communities and alone. They may have lost a close friend or partner, they could be facing difficulties with health, work or confidence. Community angels are there to come alongside, provide emotional and practical support and most importantly to listen. They’re here to say you’re not alone in whatever you’re facing, even if we don’t have all the answers. They may also provide information about local activities and other forms of support and help people to access these.
Community Angels commit to regularly visiting someone in their local area. We consider your availability, experience, personality and other preferences when introducing you to a befriendee. Being a community angel could range from sharing conversation with someone over a cup of tea, to introducing them to new activities in the local community. Each situation is different.
We provide training, regular ongoing support and opportunities to share with other volunteers.
How do we help?
Community Angels provide help and support in the following three ways:
Offering companionship and a listening ear
Adults with other activities and support in the community
Individuals to make decisions and take action for themselves
What difference does it make?
Guildford is a thriving town and cultural centre, with an abundance of cosy coffee shops, festivals throughout the year and cobbled streets often strewn with buskers and Farmer’s Market stalls. Yet, there is a hidden side to Guildford which often goes unnoticed. There are many adults in the area who feel lonely and cut off from their local community. They may be facing ongoing illness, a disability, or any other situation which may have led to isolation such as a family breakdown or personal crisis. They may be lacking confidence in stepping out of their own front door, or lacking companionship and weary of being on their own.
Regular visits from a Community Angel could make a world of difference to those who may feel they have no one. It may be as simple as listening to someone and sharing a cup of tea or introducing them to a new local activity. The support for each individual may vary depending on what is most meaningful to them, but relationship is at the heart of Community Angels. Within the context of a positive relationship, someone may start to make other changes in their life.
Loneliness is a growing problem, and there is an increasing number of organisations and individuals seeking to tackle this at a national and local level.
We can’t end loneliness alone – please join us.
Could you be a community angel?
Are you 18 or over?
Do you have compassion for adults facing difficulties?
Can you commit to visit someone around once a week, at a time to suit you?
Enjoy building relationships ?
Do you have the ability to empower others?
Can work independently?
Are prepared to attend initial training?
All community Angels are offered initial training and ongoing regular support, as well as opportunities to share with other volunteers.
Please contact us to find out about our next training or volunteer meeting. You are welcome to come along to explore if this role could suit you before making a commitment.
A similar project was previously run by Guildford Diocese but had to end in 2016 due to funding cuts. There was a high demand for this service and the project was missed by referrers, volunteers, family members and those receiving support, especially due to the wide range of needs which were addressed.
Speaking of the support her father had received, we were told ‘[The befriender] had continued to visit my father until he was too ill for visitors…. I am quite convinced that these visits are hugely beneficial to people whose lives have been narrowed down by illness or disability.’ A local charity reiterated the value of the scheme: ‘the project was a lifeline to some of our referral clients and as we all know there are many more very isolated people in the community needing support like yours.’
Making a referral
Are you worried about someone you know who may be lonely, isolated, or facing other difficulties in life?
We will receive referrals from a range of organisations as well from members of the community and self-referrals. Wherever possible, we aim to work in partnership to ensure the best outcomes for those receiving support.
Please contact us to find out more or make a referral.
Contact Community Angels
Need more information about Community Angels, want to make a referral, a donation or get involved?
Or call Rachel Guilford on: 07825 799309
(Usual working days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)