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:

Facts & Figures

Did you know?

  • There are 4,000+ Befrienders in Scotland.
  • 32,000+ hours of befriending take place each month.
  • The average length of a befriending relationship is 15-18 months.
  • 80% of Scotland's befriending projects have an annual income of less than £100,000 a year with 40% bringing in less than £50,000 a year.
  • Befriending projects exist for many, many different client groups including children and young people, older people, adults with mental health problems, people with learning disabilities, or addiction or a specific health condition such as epilepsy.
  • The Big Lottery has identified befriending as one of its priority funding areas.
  • Although there are 170+ befriending projects in Scotland, coverage can be patchy. For instance, Perth has a number of befriending projects, but not one of them supports older people. Similarly, Edinburgh only has one city-centre based project working with adults with mental health problems. The project is small and can only take on 33 clients a year.
  • Only 1 in 300 older people in Edinburgh have access to a volunteer befriender, despite our ageing population. Funding for the befriending sector is much needed.