Chamber Charity Spotlight | Southern Befrienders | March 2023

Now more than ever local charities need support from the business community to ensure the fantastic work they undertake continues and develops. Charitable work is an excellent way to enhance your businesses ESG, in addition to giving you and your team the “feel good factor” . Here at Chamber we try to support our charity members by highlighting their propositions and projects to educate you on how and why your business might choose to become a supporter. This month we hear from the team at Southern Befrienders.

Date: Thursday 30 March 2023

Tell us about your charity and what your aims are? 

Southern Befrienders is a community-based home visiting scheme for older people living in the southern communities of the Isle of Man.  We respond to identified local need, with trained and vetted volunteers providing supportive, regular companionship, as well as social events and outings. Our members (service users) are usually aged over 60 years, but we can support younger people depending on their circumstances. 

What current projects are you undertaking or have in the pipeline? 

We are currently looking to fundraise to employ a minibus driver.  We have many members who have a befriender currently who would also love to join us at one of our events but who can’t get to public transport to come.  If we manage to find the funds to employ a driver, then we can then offer a pickup and drop off service, supporting those members who want it, to get out of their homes to meet people, ending loneliness is a passion of ours.

We appreciate that many charities simply do not have the resource or skills required for example to market themselves, run social media platforms or carry out functions such as HR or accounting. If any Chamber members wished to support your charity by offering some time, what kind of skills would you be appreciative of?  

We always need new volunteers who want to offer their time to befriending.  We only ask that these volunteers give 2hrs of their time, once a week.  A befriender is exactly what it says on the tin, a ‘friend’ to somebody.  We often find that once a volunteer befriender and the member being befriended meet and get to know each other, great friendships are created.  We have some volunteers who have befriended the same member for over 8 years!  Some become like family members, especially those who have come to the island from other countries.  Missing home and family can be hard but making friends with somebody who appreciates you and what you are offering and has many good stories helps.  Honestly volunteers tell me they get way more out of it than they ever expected. 

I think for those who work from home or are self employed our befriending would be a lovely addition to their weeks, getting them out from behind their desks.

In addition to the above how can the business community support your charity?

We have a few fundraisers during the year and have a sign up sheet.  If anybody does want to join us to help, then they should just ask for a form, I’d be more than happy to send one out.

Finally, where can our members find more information or contact you?

You can find us online at  We are in the process of building a new website, once up and running all our current information will be online and easy to access. 

Alternatively, I can be found on