Community Companions logoCommunity Companions
part of the Big Lottery funded Connecting our Communities Project
co-ordinated by BAVO in partnership with Neath Port Talbot CVS

The Community Companions scheme is a free of charge, confidential and non-judgemental service which provides people companionship through volunteer befrienders.

The scheme is led by BAVO in partnership with Neath Port Talbot CVS and provides a flexible service for older people who may feel isolated or logolonely, the scheme is not a substitute for professional services, but to compliment existing support. The person receiving the befriending can choose how often they would like support and what kind of befriending they need, including going out and about or a friendly chat at home.

Anybody supporting an older person and feels that they need that little bit of extra support or companionship, can refer people to the scheme. People can also self refer.

Click here for our digital story providing an overview of project >>>



Friendship and support for you

Do you sometimes feel lonely with no extended family or friends around you? Would you like somebody to accompany you when you're going out and about? Is transport a problem? Do you find it difficult to get to the places you would like to visit? Would you like somebody to pop in for a chat and a cup of tea?

If you are over 50 and live in Bridgend County Borough, then the Community Companions scheme can help you. We support people just like you through our volunteer befrienders, who will give some of their own time to offer you companionship if you are feeling lonely or need that little extra help to get out and about and back in to community life.

Listen to some of our recent service users Audio stories click here

Listen to Mair's story Lady in car

Mair returned to Wales following the death of her husband and found herself isolated.

This is her story >>>



Listen to Mel and Huw's storyMel and Huw

Hear from Mel and Huw in their own words how they have both benefited from befriending as a beneficiary of the project and a volunteer.

This is their story >>>


For further information call BAVO, T: 01656 810400, E:

Group of happy  Community Companion volunteer befrienders holding Investing in Volunteers Award

How to become a volunteer befriender

By becoming a volunteer befriender, you will experience first hand the difference that you can make to people's lives. You will make new friends and learn new skills that will boost your self confidence.

Many people over 50 can feel isolated and lonely for all sorts of reasons. May be they live in a secluded area where transport is a problem, or their extended families live far away. Some people may have suffered a bereavement and need support to rebuild their confidence.

The most common need for befriending, is to visit a person in their own home once a week for an hour or two, support them to visit a community cafés or any other community activity of their choice. People might need someone to talk to over a cup of tea, others may need somebody to take them shopping, go for a walk - the list is endless!

You can let the scheme know what type of befriending appeals to you and they will carefully match you with the right person.

Download our Community Companions volunteer befriender information handbook >>

Further details are available by calling BAVO, T: 01656 810400 or E:

Close up of smiling elderly ladyReferrals

Who can refer people?
Anybody who is supporting an older person and feels that they need that little extra support or companionship. These can be health professionals such as occupational therapists, GPs, social workers and district nurses. Housing associations can also refer, as well as voluntary organisations, family members or friends. We also have people who self refer.

What happens if you refer someone?
The Community Companions Project Manager (based in BAVO), will establish that the person meets all the criteria, will complete a referral form and discuss the service with the person concerned, as they must be happy and agree to receiving support.

An initial visit with the person will then be arranged, to discuss their needs, carefully matching a volunteer befriender for their specific requirements. A Project Worker will accompany the volunteer on their initial visit and contact you to inform you that the befriending service has started.

Download referral form >>>

Download further information call BAVO, T: 01656 810400, E:

Group of people potting plants around table at community cafeCommunity cafés

Throughout Bridgend County Borough there are community cafés, where you can come along to meet new friends, take part in activities and enjoy getting out of the house.

There are a number of community cafés throughout the county borough, where you can come along to meet new friends, take part in activities and enjoy getting out of the house.

Find out where a community café is near you >>>

For further details call BAVO, T: 01656 810400, E: