Running a volunteer service that befriends vulnerable people

Malcolm and Alan befriending service customer and volunteer


Revival’s Navigator Coordinator, Kerry Ball, tells us all about her service, in our latest Inside Housing Blog post.

I’ve worked on the Navigator Service for nearly two years and have been so lucky during that time to witness to some really amazing changes for lots of our customers.

The Navigator Service offers befriending and mentoring to the people of Stoke on Trent and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.  During a time when the country depends and leans heavily on people willing to give up their free time, our volunteers help support vulnerable people who are lonely and isolated and need encouragement to gain some level of independence back into their lives.

One customer in particular was a real pleasure to match.

When I first met Alan he told me he felt quite lonely and isolated.  Alan does have regular visits from his son but, he still spends lots of time alone in his home and really wanted to get out and about to places of interest. Alan said that he would really love to go to local parks and lakes for a walk.

Alan is blind having contracted glaucoma 14 years ago and also lost his leg in an industrial accident when he was in his twenties.

I matched Alan with one of our volunteer’s, Malcolm.

Malcom has been volunteering with SHA for the past 8 years and has been with the Navigator service since it started.

Malcolm and Alan befriending service  customer and volunteer

The first time Malcolm met Alan they hit it off straight away. They had similar interests and lots to chat about. Malcolm had previously supported someone who was blind so he wasn’t nervous about supporting Alan and they often go for walks around local lakes and sit on the benches just taking in the atmosphere and having a good old chat.

Malcolm visits Alan once a week and they always managed to get out no matter what the weather.  They’ve got big plans for a trip to Llandudno for them both, which is a place Alan has always wanted to visit.

Because Alan felt so isolated Malcolm has helped him join other local groups and activities which he now attends regularly.

Our Navigator volunteers provide an invaluable service for all of the customers they support.  They are an integral part of our organisation and through their commitment and dedication our customers no longer feel lonely and isolated.



Revival. 308 London Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 5AB