Ballyhoura Rural Services (BRS) has been combating loneliness and social isolation in the North Cork and East Limerick area since the befriending service was established in 2010.

Overview of Service

BRS Befriending provides face-to-face befriending to anyone over the age of 18 who is experiencing loneliness and social isolation. We also befriend people with dementia or other chronic conditions and their carers; this service provides an opportunity for carers to undertake task outside the home or engage in a social outing knowing that their loved one is safe.

We accept referrals from individuals, family members or healthcare professionals.


If you are interested in learning more about our service and wish to talk to us, please contact us at 063-89442. Our Project Coordinators will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

A downloadable referral form is available in the Resource Section.

Community Employment (CE)

The Community Employment (CE) programme is designed to help people who are long-term unemployed (or in receipt of one of the payments outlined in the link below) to get back to work by offering part-time and temporary placements in jobs based within local communities.

Eligibility for CE Scheme is not means-tested. Your payment may increase on CE, if it is reduced due to a spouse/partner’s income. For further information on CE go to:

We have an excellent record of work colleagues/ participants moving to full-time employment following placement with us. Former colleagues have found employment with Nursing homes (Care Assistants) HSE (Home Helps) Irish Wheelchair Association (Training Officer), Revenue Commissioners (Clerical Officer) and as Community Development Workers and Accounting Technicians.


Our Volunteers play a vital role in BRS Befriending. Are you over eighteen? Do you have one hour a week to chat, listen and laugh? And, are you willing to make a minimum commitment of six months?

Volunteering with BRS Befriending will provide you with a great opportunity to play an active and meaningful role in your community. Previous experience is not required just a willingness to listen to and connect with another person. To become a volunteer, you will be requested to:

  • Complete an expression of interest form
  • Attend for Interview
  • Complete a Garda Vetting form
  • Attend two three-hour induction training

Once all paperwork and training has been successfully completed you will be ready to take up your role.

Please click here to find our expression of interest form and further information on the role of the volunteer.

“I never imagined I would get so much out of befriending….I was not looking for a reward, but I have got so much out of it…I have met such gracious people. When I see the other person feeling comfortable and relaxed, and looking forward to a visit, I feel a sense of satisfaction and gratitude.” A BRS Volunteer Befriender

Quality Award

The Quality in Befriending (QiB) Award is specifically tailored for befriending services and is valued by referrers, befrienders, commissioners and funders. Developed by Befriending Networks in consultation with member organisations and other experts in the field of befriending, it promotes good practice in the Sector.

Life Story Reminiscence Recording Service

BRS provides a Reminiscence Recording Service to our clients and to the wider community in the East Limerick and North Cork area.

We have been providing this service since 2013 and have recorded & published in excess of 30 life stories. The written and digital recordings are for the use of the individual who’s story is recorded and their family, a consent form is signed at the beginning of the process which stipulates this. All those involved in recording life stories have undertaken training in the reminiscence recording.

We are able to undertake the entire process from recording to publication within BRS.

We recognise that reminiscence recording can be an enjoyable process for both parties and can have significant benefits for the individual.

“Reminiscence is a free-flowing process of thinking or talking about one’s experiences in order to reflect on and recapture significant events of a lifetime. We all live in the present, yet we still carry our “past” selves with us throughout our lives. We are part of a rich history that needs to be shared and preserved. The stories we tell about our lives are also important sources of self-identity and enable us to explore and relate our past to the present”. (Kristine Dwyre)

The actual recording process can take place in the individual’s home and generally takes place over a series of meetings 4-6 in total. We initially take a voice recording of the interviews. The process from recording to publication will take a number of months & each individual recorded will have an opportunity to review a draft of their life story before publication.


Useful Links

Age Action –

Active Retirement Ireland –

Contact Details

North Cork Office

Gerard O’Connor

Marcy Bungalow

Main Street


Co. Cork

Telephone: 063-89442


East Limerick Office

Kay Kennedy


Co. Limerick

Telephone: 061-352847