Dementia Befriender Volunteer

  • VO92732
  • Suitable for groups


Who are we: AILN initially grew from a group of disabled people who wanted to see a change in the way that community care services were offered to people. When Direct Payments (DP) were first introduced in 2003, they were keen to promote this as an option for independent living. AILN have been providing high quality Self-Directed Support (SDS) advice and information to the people of Ayrshire for over 17 years.
AILN is a peer-led, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee with charitable status.
This is an exciting time to join AILN as a volunteer as we have been successful in securing 3 years of funding for a Dementia Befriending Service from the Community lottery fund. Our aim is to provide companionship to the person living with dementia and thus in turn provides respite for the unpaid carer.

Purpose of the post
• To provide 1-1 befriending companionship to people living with early-stage dementia. This will either be accompanying the befriendee on a walk, shopping trip, activity in the community, providing companionship in the persons home, playing scrabble etc or having a chat over the phone
• To think and act responsibly and follow guidance or instructions relating to Health & Safety, equality, and diversity
• To support the Befriending Coordinator by completing a feedback form after each visit with the befreindee

Key duties and responsibilities:
• Have a clear understanding of the aims and objectives of AILN services and activities
• To successfully complete essential training for the post
• Make regular weekly/fortnightly visits, telephone calls at an agreed time suitable to the person
• Provide companionship and company to the person living with dementia.
• Spend time chatting and getting to know the person, talking with about their current and past life experiences
• Provide feedback to the Befriending Coordinator around the conversations and how the meet ups are going
• Provide immediate feedback to the Coordinator or Service Manager on any issues or concerns that you become aware of

Person Specification
Essential Skills & Abilities:
• Good telephone, verbal, and written communication skills
• A good listener
• Enjoy meeting new people and having conversations
• Enjoy learning more about someone and their interests in their past and life history
• Consistency and reliability
• Understanding the need for confidentiality
• Ability to work on own initiative
• Empathic and understanding of the needs of those living with dementia and the demands/challenges faced by the unpaid carer.
• Ability to communicate with people in a sensitive and person-centred manner, including people who require support, carers, other professionals, and members of the public
• Must carry out duties of this role with due regard to equal opportunities and non-discriminatory practice

Desirable Experience:
• Experience/knowledge of working/living with someone living dementia
• Previous experience of volunteering
• Hobbies/interest to share, discuss
• As the project develops, the ability to work flexibly to suit the changing needs of the organisation i.e., weekend/evenings
• I.T skills

Volunteers are advised to volunteer 2 hours a week (befriending time and filling in of feedback sheet). Befriending should be carried out by prior arrangement (volunteers able to choose hours flexibly, perhaps very occasional evening and/or weekends to suit the needs of the befriendee).

What we provide:
• Ongoing support, guidance, and regular supervision by the coordinator of the service
• Receive formal recognition for your volunteering contribution and/or a reference which reflects positive contributions associated with your volunteering
• Specialised role training to develop skills and confidence in the role
• Reimbursement of agreed expenses directly related to the volunteering role
• Access to the Scotland Wellbeing Hub
• Feel valued, supported, and respected

Organisation aims and objectives

To provide free informative advice on self directed support. To promote choice and control. To support people to manage their social care budget. Provide peer mentor support. Provide a payroll service for people using self directed support.


Expenses paid: Yes
Expenses details: Reimbursement of agreed expenses directly related to the volunteering role
Training details: Mandatory training and Induction for the role: • AILN Introduction and Induction • Skilled Dementia Level training • Dementia Friends • Adult support and protection training • Any other training deemed necessary for the role