The Befriending Service funded by The Big Lottery aims to provide support and friendship for those living on their own or in isolation.

Befriending_Tuesday_and_wednesday_groups_039This project was developed to address the need of the socially isolated by providing a befriending service across the Epping Forest District to the elderly aged 65 years or over and their carers and includes short respite for carers whilst social clubs operate.


Currently clubs are run three times a week:

Tuesday North Weald
Wednesday Loughton
Friday Waltham Abbey

As well as offering weekly social clubs, Voluntary Action Epping Forest Befriending offers fortnightly day trips out which include visits to the theatre, boat rides and much more. These outings provide much needed stimulation to many whilst reducing their social/rural isolation improving quality of life and if required, we can provide transport to these clubs.


In addition to the weekly social clubs and day trips we offer a volunteer home visit befriending service which provides a ‘friend’ who will be able to offer companionship by forming a trusting and supportive relationship offering a smile, a listening ear, links to other services and regular visits to the client’s home.


All project volunteers are carefully screened and trained. Personal information is kept strictly confidential.

For further information about these clubs or volunteering for them please contact

Voluntary Action Epping Forest Befriending on

01992 284 762

Quotes from Befriending Service Users

‘As you know Peter passed away recently and I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what being a member of the club meant and brought to his life.  He was suffering from a number of health conditions which led him to become isolated and de-motivated.  Once at the club his whole persona changed.  His face lit up and the twinkle returned to his eyes.  Significantly his memory improved too.  Sincere gratitude to you and your team for all your hard work’

‘I just want to thank you for introducing my father to the Befriending club.  Since being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year he started to get depressed.  The service you are providing, collecting my father from the house, taking him to the club, entertaining him for the afternoon and bringing him safely home has made such a difference to his week.  He really looks forward to his Wednesdays now.’

‘Just a quick note to say thank you to you and everyone at the club.  Mum really enjoys it, has made some good friends and it has given her, her confidence back.  Thank you again for all the care and understanding that you give to Mum (I don’t know what she would be like without the clubs to look forward to).’

‘I am extremely grateful for your help in introducing me to Josie (volunteer) who is a lovely, kind person and a super befriender.  I would also like to say that your work for Voluntary Action is a wonderful achievement’