About Befriending

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

About the Network

Learn more about Befriending Networks, including staff, board and annual reports:

Become a Befriender

Befriending organisations are always on the lookout for new volunteers.

The people most suited to befriending are those who are interested in other people, are good listeners, are reliable, and have 2-3 hours to commit each week. Often previous experience is not needed. It's more about who you are than what you've done. Befriending is a chance to give something as a volunteer through your time and commitment and every befriender has stories of what they get back in return.

Because befriending involves supporting someone who is isolated, projects assess volunteers carefully. Projects provide training to prepare you for the role of befriender. Once you've been matched with your befriendee, most projects are for regular support, supervision and ongoing training.

If you are interested in volunteering as a befriender then check out our directory for details of projects near you. Alternatively your Volunteer Centre can tell you about befriending opportunities in your area. To find out where your local volunteer centre is located, visit Volunteer Scotland or Volunteering England.

What do actual befrienders have to say about befriending?

“I moved to Scotland two years ago from London. Befriending's helped me meet new people, get to know more about where I live and has helped me feel involved in my community.”
“I have gained a whole new attitude to people with learning disabilities, seeing them as people with abilities. At first I was nervous but I have got more confident. I've really learnt humility.”
“I've gained experience and I know now what I want to do with my life. I have changed my career because I enjoy being a volunteer so much. I've gone from office worker to care assistant.”
“It's satisfying – you've done something, you've made someone's life a bit better, you've cheered them up for a few hours.”
“I realised that I could do it – before I was sceptical and thought I wasn't capable of chatting to someone I didn't know.”
“I know things are going well if at the end of the night they say ‘I've had a really good time and I've enjoyed myself’.”
“I've met a lot of interesting people. I've gained more confidence in dealing with situations and the training has really helped – now I can get on in group activities and normally I would have run away from them.”
“It gives you a real buzz. I get so much feedback in the sense of ... I've done something good.”
“You see on a wider scale so much poverty and unfairness – to know that I can so just a little although there's so much else wrong.”