About Befriending

Learn more about Befriending and what it means to be a Befriender today:

About the Network

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About Befriending
Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone. For people who become isolated because of ill health, disability or social disadvantage, being matched with a befriender often fills a big gap.

Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Around the UK there are befriending projects which organise effective support for children and young people, families, people with mental ill-health, people with learning disabilities and older people, amongst many others.

The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities and leads to increased self-esteem and self confidence. Befriending can also reduce the burden on other services which people may use inappropriately as they seek social contact.

“It is the need of every single one of us, child or grown-up, to feel wanted, to feel we belong and that we matter to someone else in the world. We all know, from our own experience, that feeling isolated from those around us, alienated from society, makes us sad, even angry. The deeper this isolation becomes, the more hurtful and resentful we feel and the more this is reflected in our behaviour. Such behaviour only leads to greater alienation. Children who from an early age feel alone and apart from the rest of the world, and there are so many of them, who become angry and hurt, have little chance of leading fulfilled lives. They are lost from the start. Above all, they need friendship, the solid warmth of someone who cares and goes on caring. With such lasting friendship, self worth and self confidence can flourish, and a child's life can be altered forever.”
—Former Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo