Befriending (Shipley Area Links)

Funded by the Big Lottery FundSay ‘Hello’ to a new friend!

Our Befriending project is funded by a Reaching Communities grant from the Big Lottery Fund since 2009, this has helped to relaunch the Shipley Area Links Befriending and Advocacy service. This is a joint project between Community Action Bradford & District and HALE project.

The service is open for new referrals and would welcome new volunteers!

If you’re making a referral then download our Befriending Referral Form
If you’d like to be a Befriender, download our Volunteer Application Form

What is befriending?

Take a look at our Befriending leaflet to find out!

Befriending is for older people (over 50 years), who do not meet people as much as they would like for various reasons such as health or personal circumstances. A local volunteer Befriender visits them in their home for conversation or sometimes telephones them. They may also sometimes go for a short outing. Visitors are security checked and no charge is made for visits.

Referrals can be made directly to Community Action (Bingley Office) or HALE. If you would like to volunteer as a Befriender we would be delighted to hear from you.

Volunteers needed!

If you live in or around Bingley, have some spare time and would like to make friends with an older person local to you, please get in touch. Training is provided. We also hold social ‘get-togethers’ for those involved.

Joy Mills coordinates this service. She is based at Community Action (Bingley Office) at Cardigan House, Ferncliffe Road, Bingley. Joy or Debbie can assist new volunteers, ring 01274 781222 or email

Quality marked service

The befriending service is a very caring and supporting service and we do feel that clients get a lot of satisfaction from this” [Adult Social Worker]

The scheme is currently reapplying to be accredited by Mentoring & Befriending (part of National Council for Voluntary Organisations). We are proud to have achieved their Approved Provider Standard twice before in recognition of the quality service we provide.

Shipley Area Links partnership project

This befriending service is provided within a partnership project between Community Action and HALE project as Shipley Area Links. It helps older people in the Bingley and Shipley area, having visits to reduce isolation and loneliness; and promotes wellbeing and confidence. There is a waiting period for volunteer matching but a volunteer or specialist befriender may telephone or visit in the meantime, prioritised according to need. We hold social ‘get-togethers’ for those involved. The scheme also includes an Advocacy service – see below.


The Advocacy service works in the Shipley and Bingley areas, with participants in the Befriending project and other wellbeing services run by Community Action and HALE project, for over 50’s. Advocates enable people to say what they want, secure their rights, represent their rights, obtain services they need (where possible).

Our aims are to enable people to feel independent, empowered, confident and to access new services, information and resources.

It’s been lovely knowing you. You have been patient, you’re not in my face pushing me like some people do. [Advocacy service user, 2014]

This is a free service. Click here for our leaflet.


Health or social professionals can download a referral form above in order to refer somebody to the Befriending project. Family and self-referrals are also welcome.

Those who live in Bingley, including Cottingley, Gilstead and Eldwick, Crossflatts, Wilsden, Cullingworth and Harden, contact Joy at Community Action Bradford and District (Bingley Office), by telephone or email as above or 01274 781222. She will arrange to meet at home to discuss whether befriending is for you, before introducing anyone.

For referrals across Shipley, Nab Wood, Baildon, Frizinghall and Wrose, contact Lesley Danson at the HALE Project, Shipley on 01274 271088.

Please note:  This service urgently needs more volunteers. Due to this there will usually be a wait for matching.