Friendship programmes

The friendship projects of the Icelandic Red Cross take a variety of forms, but all have the common goal of reducing social isolation.

Visitation Friends

Volunteers visit those who ask for a visitation friend and who for whatever reason are socially isolated. Anyone can apply for a visitor. Volunteers visit private homes, care homes and institutions, as well as shelters for people with mental disorders. The volunteer visits their host once a week, for one hour. Visits can also take the form of an outing in the car or a walk, but the usual visit is a friendly chat over a cup of coffee. The form of the visit depends entirely on the agreement made between the host and the visitor.

Do you wish to have a visiting friend?   

Please fill out this form or contact your local branch.

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Network after imprisonment

The Red Cross has a project for those who are finishing their detention.

Are you finishing imprisonment or have you ever been imprisoned?

There are many things to keep in mind when imprisonment ends and it is important to have support when such a major change occurs. It can be good to have support and guidance. For that we have the project Network after imprisonment.

You will be connected to a volunteer 2-5 months before your release. You and the volunteer will be in contact for about a year and meet up once a week in average.  The volunteer will help you with different tasks concerning daily life; apply for jobs, seek housing, assist with planning your finance, meet social workers etc. Also there is a focus on the importance of building a strong social network.

Once a month there is an open house where individuals can meet with similar experiences, get social support and other assistance. The open house is held last Wednesday in the month from 19-21 in Hamraborg 11, Kópavogur on the 2nd floor. We welcome everyone and light refreshments are available.

You can apply or contact a social worker at the prison or contact the Red Cross: [email protected] / tel. 5704062    786-7133.

Phone friends

Phone friends speak together twice a week and chat on the telephone for half an hour at a time instead of visiting people in institutions or in private homes. The phone chats take place at a pre-arranged time, convenient for both parties. Since a phone is the method of communication, distance is no barrier, making it easy to have phone friends anywhere in the country.

Dog Visitations Walking friends 

In this project visitation friends who are dog owners follow the same visitation guidelines except their dog comes along on the visits. Most dog visits take place in care homes and institutions, residential homes and shelters for people with mental disorders. There are also a good number of visits to private homes. Volunteers visit once a week for one hour, along with their dog. Dog therapy has been very popular and research has shown that dogs can provide very meaningful support and can sometimes connect with people more easily than humans.

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More information [email protected], tel. 570-4000 .

Walking friends 

Walking friends is a Red Cross project for those who enjoy the outdoors and good company.
Walking friends go out for a walk once or twice a week for an hour at a time.
The project is structured in a similar way to Red Cross visitors. The aim of the project is to break social isolation and the benefits are:
• Enjoy the outdoors
• Get fresh air
• Exercise
• Chat together
• Good company

Do you wish to have a walking friend?

Please fill out this form or contact [email protected]

Groups of friends

Around the country there are many organised groups of friends who meet up regularly, often in Red Cross housing, for a specific purpose. These groups meet under a variety of names, such as the boys' group, coffee for the guys, the girls' group, ladiesʼ night, friendsʼ get-together, etc.