I've spent the afternoon in Devizes learning about Age UK. I applied to join as a volunteer after I saw a request for people to consider befriending a lonely person. It's something I thought I'd be able to do and, as they are only asking for a minimum of one hour each week, something that I definitely have the time to do.
It seems that, as with many charities and voluntary organisations, things progress slowly, all of which means that I won't be linked with a 'friend' until some time next year. They are also in the middle of changing their procedures so 'befriending' is out and 'well-being' is the way forward. It wasn't completely clear today but it seems that the voluntary role I was interested in, i.e. visiting, chatting, drinking coffee, making friends, will now change to a role where as well as doing all that, you also encourage the person you are visiting to take part in community activities.
The next stage is to go on a course which goes into detail about the ins and outs of well-being and explains what my role as a visitor will be. I've come home from today's course feeling a little disappointed that it's changing and that it will take so long to get started, but I'll just have to be patient and continue with the process.