Over nine million people in the UK – almost a fifth of the population – say they are often or always lonely, but many feel uncomfortable admitting it.

Our surgery volunteers become Wellbeing Guides and each befriends an older patient who has nobody to talk to or to go out with. They form a friendship over time and encourage the patient to keep active and interested in life.

Or they support their surgery by driving some of their patients to health appointments. This means fewer wasted appointments and fewer house visits for GPs and nurses.

So far more than half of all Health Centres in Bristol, and some in North Somerset and South Gloucestershire have encouraged their patients who are over 50 to link up with lonely and isolated people.

By volunteering for their surgery they meet other volunteers, have closer contact with surgery staff, receive training from RSVP and are supported by RSVP Organisers.

If you have some time and are good with people why not improve somebody’s quality of life and – at the same time – enjoy the company of new friends.

“ I can honestly say that my life has changed since my befriender started visiting me.”

If you are interested in our surgery scheme please email surgeries@rsvp-west.org.uk or read our leaflet for more information.