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Sometimes, circumstances can mean you're unable to see your family and friends as often as you’d like. Perhaps they have moved away, are busy with families and careers or maybe your closest family and friends have passed away.

You might be looking after someone else or spending a lot of time alone at home because of ill health or a disability. Or perhaps you live in a rural area where the lack of public transport makes it difficult for you to get out and about.

Everyone needs other people around sometimes so if you can go for days, or even longer, without seeing or speaking to another person, it’s time to do something about it.

What is befriending?

Befriending schemes usually pair up one volunteer with one person who might otherwise be at risk of becoming socially isolated. Your befriender will visit you at home, take you out socially or telephone you regularly depending on the individual scheme.

There are various befriending projects for people in different circumstances, including older people who would like to meet up with others to socialise and telephone befriending schemes for others who may feel lonely and isolated, perhaps after a period of ill health or a bereavement.

There are also befriending schemes to help people with learning disabilities to get involved in the activities they enjoy, including sporting and leisure activities.

And remember, your befriender is someone who enjoys meeting and talking to people just as much as you do.

There are a range of befriending schemes available depending on your age and where you live (not all schemes are available everywhere in Wales).

All schemes are free to join.

Last updated: 14/04/2016