The Befriending Service

The Phone Befriending Service

If you or someone you know is experiencing loneliness, or wants to make a new friend without leaving home – our befriending project might be for you.

The project brings together people with shared interests for a regular conversation over the phone.

Want to receive calls from a Befriender?

Anyone who lives in Tower Hamlets and is experiencing isolation or loneliness can ask us to find them a befriender and we’ll do our best to match them with someone for a weekly/ fortnightly chat. In order to make sure that conversations are positive experiences for the people that request them and safe for everyone involved, we recruit and train befriending volunteers in how to be respectful, helpful and aware of people’s needs.

If you are interested in being matched with a befriender and receive regular calls, please contact Aklima on

We will give you a call within a week to find out more about the kind of things you are interested in and then we’ll set about finding you a befriender. It might take us a couple of weeks to find the right match for you, but we’ll keep in touch to let you know how it’s going.

Want to become a Befriender?

If you want to be a befriender please contact Aklima. We’ll send you out a volunteering application role and discuss with you how the role works, as well as agreeing with you how long you’d like to volunteer for. We find that befriending volunteering works best if a commitment of at least 3 months is made.

If you want to do something for a shorter period of time then we’ll let you know about other volunteering roles within the organisation.

We’ll cover the cost of your phone calls, give you free accredited safeguarding training and clear guidance about how we keep everyone safe as an organisation. You will be asked to keep records of your volunteering and report back regularly to the Community Team.

This service started because of Covid 19 and us wanting to keep in touch with people who came here everyday. Loneliness and isolation were issues in East London well before the COVID-19 crisis, and we couldn’t do anything we normally would in our community centre to change that during lockdown. So we started matching people together for regular chats. What we leant very quickly was that this created happiness and a sense of feeling connected in the local community for everyone involved, and so as the world reopens we’re committed to continuing this project.

Get in touch with Aklima ( if you want to know more.