Rebuilding social circles to empower older adults to age actively and well

We replace the friends lost from an older person’s personal network as they age which has caused a loneliness epidemic made worse by the pandemic. This helps them reconnect with their community, improve their wellbeing, and feel more valued, healthy and independent.

Do you know someone whose health or life circumstances are affecting their social life and could benefit from meaningful new friendships? We can help.

Our Intergenerational Membership Community

BuddyHub is an affordable membership community offering a bespoke match-making and introduction service for older adults feeling lonely and isolated. We use technology with a distinctive human touch to create new, personalised, intergenerational social circles of 4 people called ‘Friendship Wheels’.

After joining, the older adult is carefully matched to 3 local, vetted members of our community who share their interests and passions, creating a new supportive social circle of meaningful face-to-face friends.

All community members can also join a number of larger groups based around shared interests or purpose with the whole community driving the choice.

Key features

  • Personalised approach with the best customer experience at its heart
  • Accessible for all levels of mobility and digital literacy
  • Three new friends for an older person in their ‘Friendship Wheel’
  • The option of joining larger groups based on interests and hobbies
  • Robust vetting so its safe to refer ‘adults at risk’
  • Cutting-edge technology to more efficiently find, recruit, onboard and match community members
  • Creating small social circles removes dependency and adds peer-to-peer support
  • Affordable membership fees based on income level

Member benefits

  • Frequent face-to-face quality time with like-minded people
  • A fun and flexible way to rebuild their inner supportive circle
  • Enjoy new activities with the support of their new friends
  • An easy way to reconnect with their community
  • Informal support to develop digital skills from a ‘Tech Buddy’
  • Support to develop, establish and maintain new friendships

How to refer someone

  • Confirm eligibility: Check the person you are referring meets our criteria to join in the FAQ section below.
  • Complete our online form: Give us as much information as you can about the person you are referring and their situation.
  • All set: Hoorah, we will contact this person to confirm they want to join our community!

What people say

I'm getting back to living and not just functioning. I'm starting to do things I was interested in before. It's like I've woken up!

Member

You could have picked anyone but you picked the right one. My life is difficult but the people coming into my life are complementary and helping it to improve. Managing my health is a full time job.

Member

They are such amazing girls and I love seeing them. Her hugs are ones that you never forget. They are all so considerate too, they always choose a place that is close by and easiest for me to get to. Sometimes when I have plans to meet one Buddy, another joins too and we have a great time. So much fun!

Member

It has given me a new lease of life. It is very helpful and socially rewarding. The experience has been invaluable in getting my dull life moving forward again. I am so delighted I am part of BuddyHub

Member

It’s really nice to know that there are people like you all out there that care that people are lonely and isolated. I’m very happy with your service. Such a lovely idea and concept, I’m really reaping the benefits.

Member

It’s such a fresh, wonderful and well needed service for both seniors and their loved ones. You’ve made it easy for me to refer people to you and you act fast.

Referrer

Frequently asked questions

What is our criteria for who to connect us with?

Anyone who is: 

  • Generally aged 50 and over
  • Isolated or lonely due to health or life circumstances.
  • Living in Islington, Hackney, Haringey and the City of London
  • Housebound or has limited mobility, or is out and about and active
  • Living with a mental health condition that is managed and stable
  • Living with mild or early stage dementia
  • Living with a visual or hearing impairment but able to effectively communicate by phone and in person.
  • Able to engage with our team and members they are matched to

Why do members pay a monthly membership to join BuddyHub?

We are committed to building a sustainable social business to maximise the impact of our work. BuddyHub is a membership community and our aim is that each new local community we build will become wholly or largely self-sustaining over time whilst offering discounted fees and free places to older members on a low income. Ensuring BuddyHub has firm financial foundations and is not too reliant on scarce grant or public funding will enable us to keep the organisation running and achieve our vision. 

How much does a BuddyHub membership cost?

You can check membership fees on our member page.

Please note: we have a limited number of ‘Extra’ places for those who need additional support to join and benefit from our service including: an extended Welcome Meeting; extra care with matching; more training for members in their Friendship Wheel; additional support from the Connector. These places may be pre-purchased via third parties with agreed criteria. We will let you know if this applies to your referral.

Do you offer discounted memberships?

Yes, BuddyHub offers a discounted rate for older members who:

○ Genuinely cannot afford regular rates AND;
○ Do not have a family member who can help to cover their membership fees AND;
○ Receive at least one means-tested benefit

BuddyHub is only able to offer subsidised fees to members on a low income thanks to other paying members of our community and the generous donations of our Community Sponsors.

What are the means-tested benefits accepted by BuddyHub?

  • Above pensionable age: Pension Credit; Housing Benefit; Council Tax Support; Cold Weather Payment.
  • Below pensionable age: Jobseeker’s Allowance; Employment and Support Allowance;
  • Income Support; Housing Benefit; Universal credit.

I’ve made a referral, what happens next?

  1. We will get in touch with you if more information is required.
  2. We contact the person you referred to confirm interest and suitability. We try three times over a three week period on different days and times.
  3. If they’re interested in joining, we send out a letter explaining more about our service and steps to sign up online or offline (also by a family member).
  4. Our Connector meets the member at our offices or their home.
  5. We start building their Friendship Wheel: it can take 1-2 months to find their first friend (longer for more specific requirements).
  6. The 1st friend is introduced to the member by the Connector.
  7. The 2nd friend is introduced to the member by the 1st friend
  8. The 3rd friend is introduced to the member by the 2nd friend.
  9. All friends are introduced within around 6 months and we provide ongoing support.
  10. All community members can join larger groups to explore their interests and meet even more local people.

Please note: we can only provide timely updates to referrers if we gain the member’s consent.

How can I explain what you do to someone I may refer?

  • BuddyHub is a local intergenerational membership community of friends.
  • They offer a match-making and introduction service for people whose health or situation is affecting their social life.
  • They meet you to understand your situation and explore what you’d like to do.
  • They carefully select three other vetted community members they think you’ll click with to create your new social circle.
  • You approve each match. They arrange the introductions. They check it went well afterwards.
  • You can go to events, do activities or just enjoy each other’s company. 
  • It’s flexible. You and your new friends decide when and where you meet - at home or outside - and what you do. Usually it’s one-to-one but sometimes as a group too.
  • You also have the option of joining larger groups based around your interests.
  • Everyone pays affordable fees to join the community based on income level.
  • Is it ok to pass on your details so they can tell you more?

How can I contact a BuddyHub Connector?

Naailah Jummun is the Connector. She manages the member journey once they have joined and answers any questions that you or they may have. You can contact her via:

Email: [email protected] 
Phone: 0771 411 8916 / 0203 642 6871