Befriending and support for people self-isolating

Kingston Stronger Together was established by the council in partnership with Kingston Voluntary Action and Volunteering Kingston, to ensure our residents get the help they need during the pandemic.

The new online hub and phone service is for Kingston residents who are isolating or shielding and unable to leave their home because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

We know that some of our communities are vulnerable to social isolation and may need emotional support at this challenging time. A chat on the phone can make a huge difference to their wellbeing.To help with this we have launched a befriending service, putting vulnerable residents in touch with volunteers who check in with them regularly over the phone.

So far we have had an amazing 155 volunteers sign up to be a buddy - thank you! - and 105 local people have already been paired with a buddy. Matching is based on language preference and other stated interests, as well the skills and background of the buddy.

This service has appealed to a wide variety of people, including those who just want an occasional chat because they live alone to those who are caring for family and would like to hear a different voice. Both residents and volunteers alike have benefited from this service.

Volunteer Penny D’Souza enjoys regular chats with her buddy and says:

“My buddy is a great match. The conversation flows and we have a laugh. My buddy is very appreciative of the support. It is also lovely for me to hear a different voice, to focus on someone else and to have a chat and widen my horizons.”

If you would like help or support, the easiest way to access the Hub is via the online form or you can call 020 8547 5000.