Befriending and Peer Support

Age UK K&C Branch

Provide a range of services to help over 55s to stay independent in their own home, including befriending, social activities, escorting, practical help, shopping and decluttering services. They can also offer assistance with benefits, social care needs, and energy efficiency/ fuel poverty.

Lots of useful information can be downloaded from the main Age UK website: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/services/information-advice/guides-and-factsheets/

W: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/kensingtonandchelsea/

A: 1 Thorpe Close, London, W10 5XL

T : 020 8969 9105

E: information@aukc.org.uk

Community Living Well

A peer support service which is co-run with K&C Mind. It includes co-facilitated peer support groups where a peer worker uses lived experience of mental health issues to lead discussions and model recovery, as well as social activities such as park walks, concert and museum visits, meals out, art and jewellery making sessions and more, taking place at venues all across the borough. Available to those whose mental health is being cared for by primary care service, those transitioning from secondary mental health care, as well as to carers.

Further service information, monthly calendars of events and details of how to refer are available via: https://communitylivingwell.co.uk/how-we-can-help-mental-health/peer-support-mental-health-kensington-and-chelsea/

Printable Information Leaflet: https://communitylivingwell.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/180313-Peer-Support-Leaflet-WEB-Grey.pdf

Contact the Elderly

Supported by a network of volunteers, Contact the Elderly is a national charity that organises monthly Sunday afternoon gatherings for small groups of older people aged 75 and over who are dealing with loneliness and social isolation. Check the website for details of local groups.

How it works: Each older person is collected from their home by a volunteer and taken to a volunteer host’s home for the afternoon. The group is warmly welcomed by a different host each month, but the drivers remain the same which means that over the months and years, acquaintances turn into friends and loneliness is replaced by companionship.

W: https://www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk

T: 0800 716543

Dad’s House

Local organisation, based in Chelsea, that aims to help single dads with the practicalities of raising their children alone. Offer accommodation, a buddy service, hair and drug testing (if custody issues), a weekly breakfast club and food bank, as well as parenting and stress management classes.

W: http://www.dadshouse.org.uk

A: 300 Old Brompton Road, London SW5 9JH

T: 07765183504

E: info@dadshouse.org.uk

Elefriends

A supportive online community from the mental health charity, Mind, where people can listen, share and be heard. Over 18s only. Moderated.

“It’s a safe space to share tips and experiences and reach out to others who might be struggling too. It’s simple to sign up and there’s absolutely no commitment.”

W: www.elefriends.org.uk

Also available on Google Play and App Store

Family Friends

Offer parent befriending and child mentoring to disadvantaged families in K&C. Volunteers meet families in their home once a week, for two hours. Involved for at least six months.

W: https://www.familyfriends.uk.com

A: 73 St Charles Square, London W10 6EJ

T: 020 8960 9099

E: info@familyfriends.uk.com

Hearing Voices Network

A network of voice hearers, mental health professionals and other interested parties that works to raise awareness of voice hearing, visions, tactile sensations and other sensory experiences and to support people having these experiences. They have a network of over 80 self-help groups throughout the UK (including one in W14) and run a helpline.

W: www.hearing-voices.org

T: 0114 271 8210

E: nhvn@hotmail.co.uk

Hestia

A befriending scheme that matches K&C service users with severe and enduring mental health problems who are feeling lonely or isolated with volunteer befrienders from the local community. Meet once a week for six months.

No self referrals. All referrals must come from a community mental health team.

W: http://www.hestia.org

T: 020 7221 0052

E: referralsrbkc.mhs@hestia.org.cjsm.net

Jami (Jewish Association for the Mentally Ill)

A recovery orientated mental health charity serving the Jewish community who experience mental illness. They work alongside statutory services to provide additional support. Serves the Greater London area. Services include:

  • Befriending
  • Carers Services
  • Employment Service
  • Psychiatric Hospital Visiting
  • Independent Living
  • Jami Recovery Education Centre
  • Four Locality Centres
  • Recovery and Peer Support

W:http://www.jamiuk.org

A: Gould Way, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 9GL

T: 0208 458 2223

E: info@jamiuk.org

Living Well 

Offers a wide range of health related services aimed at providing people with HIV with the skills they need to get the most out of life. Services include: counselling, wellbeing groups, peer support, art/hypno/yoga therapy, a self-management programme and support for the recently diagnosed. Free for residents of Brent, Ealing, Camden and Islington. Low-cost charges for those living in other areas.

W: https://www.livingwellcic.com

A: St Charles Centre for Health, Exmoor Street, London W10 6DZ

T: 020 3137 3373

E: info@livingwellcic.com

London Friend

Based in Kings Cross, their aim is to support the health and mental well-being of the LGB&T community. Services are delivered by trained Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans volunteers and include:

  • LGB&T counselling
  • Antidote drug and alcohol support
  • Social and support groups
  • Coming out groups
  • Volunteering opportunities
  • Training for healthcare professionals
  • Resources on LGB&T health issues
  • A selection of LGB&T books, magazines and information

W: http://londonfriend.org.uk/

London Irish Centre

A charity providing care, culture and community to the Irish in London. Offers an advice service, crisis assistance (including small grants), outreach for older Irish people, advocacy, day services, social groups, befriending, family tracing and assistance in returning to Ireland.

W: https://www.londonirishcentre.org

A: 50-52 Camden Square, London NW1 9XB

T: 0207 916 2222

E: info@londonirishcentre.org

Midaye

Based in Ladbroke Grove, it offers a support service and numerous activities, including peer support and befriending, to BME community in London.

W: http://midaye.org.uk

T: 020 8969 7456

E: contact@midaye.org.uk

Migrants Organise

Provide help and support to migrants and refugees looking to set up their own community groups, provide generalist advice and information on issues such as housing, immigration, welfare benefits and legal matters, and campaign on issues affecting migrants. 

The Transforming Lives project is a mentoring scheme for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who are particularly isolated, in need of extra support or dealing with mental health problems. Mentees are placed with a mentor who speaks the same language and who can help them to access services, learn new skills and build confidence.

W: www.migrantsorganise.org

A: 2 Thorpe Close, London, W10 5XL

T: 020 8964 4815

E: info@migrantsorganise.org

National Self Harm Network

A closely monitored online support forum and evening phone line from 7pm to 11pm for people who self harm, as well as families and carers.

W: http://www.nshn.co.uk

T: 0800 622 6000

No Panic

A charity for those suffering from anxiety disorders, including panic attacks, phobias, OCD and tranquilliser withdrawal. Support and information also for families and carers. Provides a helpline, telephone recovery groups, befriending groups and literature. A specialised youth helpline is available for 13-20 year olds between 4pm and 6pm Monday to Friday

W: www.nopanic.org.uk

Helpline: 0844 967 4848 (10am-10pm)

Youth Helpline (13-20 years): 0330 606 1174

E: admin@nopanic.org.uk

Octavia Foundation

Octavia offer a befriending service to isolated and vulnerable adults aged 18 or above. Individuals are matched with a volunteer befriender who visits once a week for a minimum of six months. A befriender can visit in the person’s own home or provide the support needed to venture out.

W: https://www.octaviafoundation.org.uk

T: 020 8354 5532

E: Raksha.gadhvi@octavia.org.uk

Open Age

A service for over 50s living in K&C and wider areas. It’s aim is to enable people to sustain their physical and mental fitness, maintain an active lifestyle and develop new interests. Provide over 350 weekly activities at more than 60 sites, as well as group outings.

They offer facilitated telephone groups for those who are housebound. Support is also for older carers. One to one work for the particularly isolated is available.

W: https://www.openage.org.uk

A: St. Charles Centre For Health & Wellbeing , Exmoor Street , London , W10 6DZ

T: 020 8962 4141

Pepper Pot Day Centre

Provides a comprehensive service for K&C over 50’s, from the African, Caribbean & BME community to enable them to live more independently in their own homes. Provides a range of activities, day care, befriending and outreach for isolated individuals and hot African and Caribbean meals.

W: http://www.pepperpotcentre.org.uk

A: 1A Thorpe Close, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5XL

T: 020 8968 6940

E: info@pepperpotdaycentre.co.uk

Persian Care Centre

Provides help, support and advice to older Persian people as well as a welcoming meeting place where the over 50s and other ages of Farsi speaking people of K&C can socialise, meet new friends and get involved in activities, cultural events and exciting outings.

W: http://www.persiancarecentre.com

A: Resident Club Room, Henry Dicken’s Court, St Ann’s Road, London W11 4DH

T: 0207 221 5763 or 07961 447116

E: sroohy@yahoo.co.uk

River House Resource Centre

A community centre based in Hammersmith, open to anyone living with HIV and living in London. Proof of diagnosis and address will be required (see website for details).

They provide a large and diverse range of services aimed at supporting people in all aspects of their physical, medical and emotional well being. These include services such as nursing advice, counselling, benefits and legal advice, complementary therapies and educational courses, plus a delicious meal each week day. They also offer befriending and advocacy services.

W: https://www.riverhouseuk.org

A: River House, Furnival Gardens, off Rutland Grove, London W6 9DJ

T: 020 8753 5190 or 07763 768 345/6

Email: info@riverhouseuk.org

The Butterfly Project

A peer support, friendship and empowerment group for women who are dealing with the effects of domestic abuse. K&C, H&F and Westminster.

W: https://www.hestia.org/domestic-abuse

T: 0207 352 3341 or 0780 093 8851

E:angeloureferral@hestia.org

Online leaflet: https://www.hestia.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=bfc767c7-56df-4a9d-9e01-1949e268fbab

The Cara Trust

Provides social welfare and health information services for people with HIV, particularly as they grow into older age. Key services include:

  • Specialist housing support – including Home Share matching.
  • Weekly social activities
  • Expert seminars on HIV & Ageing issues
  • One-to-one Buddies for older people
  • African peer support project
  • Small grants casework & advocacy
  • Expert social workers
  • Food bank

W: http://caralife.com

A: 240 Lancaster Road, London W11 4AH

T: 020 7243 6147

E: mail@caralife.com

The Silver Line

A confidential, free friendship and helpline for older people across the UK. Open every day and night of the year. A specially-trained team:

  • Offer information, friendship and advice.
  • Link callers to local groups and services.
  • Offer weekly friendship calls with volunteers. Letter writing also available.
  • Protect and support older people who are suffering abuse and neglect.

68% of calls to the helpline are made at night and weekends.

W: https://www.thesilverline.org.uk

Helpline: 0800 4 70 80 90

Volunteer Centre Kensington and Chelsea

VCKC is the central hub for volunteering in Kensington and Chelsea – working to recruit and place volunteers across the borough.

It offers a personal mentoring programme ‘My Wellbeing Journey’ to people with mental health needs, physical disabilities or learning difficulties. Over 10 weekly sessions they are supported to develop new skills, make friends, improve their confidence and works towards goals, such as volunteering.

The service also provides a resettlement programme to help integrate people with convictions back into the community, as well as employment support.

W: www.vckc.org.uk

A: 1 Thorpe Close, London W10 5XC

T: 020 8960 3722

E: iuliana.dinu@vckc.org.uk