Bishop Creighton House has changed its operating name to The Creighton Centre with effect from June 2023.


A small charity with a big impact

Befriending Week 2023 - Homeline volunteer impact - Josie

Want to know what it's like volunteering as a Homeline befriender?

To celebrate Befriending Week 2023 we spoke to one of our dedicated and caring volunteers, Josie Gale, to find out all about her experience:

"It is so worthwhile and the reactions you can get from the people you help make it worth all the effort".


1. Tell us how & why you got involved with Homeline?

I started working in the Hammersmith area in 2015. I moved from working for a charity to a large media company and I wanted to make sure that I still did some charity work in my free time. The company I work for encourage volunteering and had links with Bishop Creighton House (as it was then). It was one of the few charities they had links with where you could do regular volunteering so it seemed ideal to me. And while all charities do great work, I have always been drawn to those that support older people particularly when considering how much a scheme like Homeline could have helped my grandparents.

2. Can you tell us more about the voluntary roles you have done with the project? & how much time do you dedicate each week?

There are two main parts to my volunteering with Homeline. The first is that I am a befriender so I visit someone who usually is on their own and vulnerable and may not have any family (or their family lives quite far away). I usually see them once a week for about an hour and I just chat to them. With a lady I saw in the past, I used to help her with the odd admin task but as a befriender, you’re there to chat and keep them company.

The second part is that I make phone calls to Homeline clients to have a quick chat with them. I do this every Tuesday and every other weekend. The calls on a Tuesday usually take just under an hour and the ones at the weekend about 30-45 minutes. I have done the weekend calls since I started my volunteering but I added the Tuesday ones during the COVID lockdown. This is a great way of doing volunteering if you don’t have too much time to spare.

I also occasionally help at events at the Creighton Centre (such as the fish and chip lunch) if I can do so during my lunchbreak from work.

3. What has been your proudest moment volunteering so far?

It’s hard to say what my proudest moment has been. I’m sure there have been more significant moments but the one that comes to mind is quite recent. I have a lady on one of my call lists who is always a bit sad and lonely as well as being quite shy and quiet. Over the years, I’ve managed to get her to chat a bit more and on my last call with her, I even got her to laugh! That was a really lovely moment.

4. What do you get out of volunteering with Homeline?

I get so much out of volunteering. I get a very positive feeling from giving my time to a good cause. And I have built relationships with the people I call and visit which I really value. I’ve also gained skills and knowledge which I can carry into my own personal and working lives.

5. Do you find remote volunteering role convenient?

I do find remote volunteering convenient. It’s easy to fit the calls into the day (while still keeping in mind that most of the people you speak to wouldn’t want calls too early or late). I know some volunteers have more time than others but most of the people you speak to are very understanding if you only have a short amount of time.

6. Do you feel supported in your volunteering?

I feel incredibly supported by the team in my volunteering. I’ve often needed a bit of help or advice and Jess, Jelena and Mark are always on hand. They’re proactive and provide lots of useful information on a regular basis. And they’re also lovely, friendly people who I have enjoyed getting to know over the years.

7. Would you recommend volunteering to others?

I would absolutely recommend volunteering to others. It is so worthwhile and the reactions you can get from the people you help make it worth all the effort.


Josie, a huge Thank You for all that you do to help put a smile on the faces of our Homeline members. It is because of volunteers like you, dedicating your time and kindness, that our service can flourish and bring so much comfort to so many!