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:


The team at Befriending Networks welcomes feedback about all the services we provide to the befriending sector. These include bespoke and off-the-shelf training, online volunteer training, consultancy, networking opportunities, conferences, a Quality standard, the Befriending Week initiative, campaigning on behalf of befriending services, provision of information, advice and informal support. Comments in respect of some of these activities are reproduced below.

Volunteer online course
"The course has changed my views of befriending in a positive way and I'm looking forward to getting started".
Volunteer telephone befriender
Online volunteer course
"I really enjoyed the course. I feel like I have another level of training added onto the training I received at my organisation".
Volunteer Befriender, Leeds
Quality in Befriending Standard
Our volunteers state they are proud to have been involved in the application process and are reassured that ROAR has gained "Excellence"status.
ROAR - Connections for Life
Volunteer online course
I would recommend this course.
Volunteer Befriender, Perthshire
Volunteer online course
Before completing this course I was unaware of all the core elements of befriending. I now know that it is important to tackle challenges and encourage participation to increase self-development and empowerment.
Volunteer befriender, Essex
Volunteer online course
I enjoyed the fact that it was very informative and thorough but kept the interaction element throughout. There was an opportunity to test your knowledge in each module which I enjoyed.
Volunteer befriender, Essex
Bespoke Volunteer Training (London)
"It has re-inforced my understanding of being a befriender, what to do and what not to do" "This will help me to work effectively and achieve my goals of befriending" "Enhancing my communication skills and operating within the organisation's rules"
Volunteer Befrienders, London
Bespoke Co-ordinator Training
"I enjoyed that the session involved group discussions where we could draw upon past experiences and learn from each other. I enjoyed discussing the case studies and what we would do if we had to deal with each situation. It was interactive, engaging and very informative."
Training participant, Leicester
Bespoke Co-ordinator Training (Leicester)
"The session answered all of my major concerns regarding safety and viability that is involved in running a befriending service. With now being aware of what we must ensure is covered and codified, to allow us to operate a safe, secure and appropriate service. It has greatly put my mind at ease."
Training participant, Leicester
Training for Trainers online module
Found the module really good and have learnt so much. Inspired me to look at alternative ways of training delivery and different learning styles. The two online sessions were also a great opportunity to share learning exchange information and good practice
Befriending Coordinator, Leicester
Befriending and Communities Conference
'Thank you to you and your colleagues for organising such an interesting conference last week. The speakers were excellent and the lunch was fantastic. It’s always well worth taking time out of our busy schedule to share experiences which affirm our endeavours and to feel part of such a positive tribe!'
Dumfries & Galloway Befriending Project
Volunteer Online course
This course was very efficient. It relayed a lot of useful information in an effective concise manner, that wasn’t too dry and boring. It’s good you can save where you are and come back to it at a later date too.
Volunteer Befriender, Tayside
Vital Skills in Befriending
"I feel very strongly that the kind of training that BNS offer in support and supervision, boundaries, risk management, and so on, should be mandatory for all managers of third sector projects in receipt of public funding".
Befriending Coordinator
Core Skills in Befriending for Volunteers
"I really enjoyed the course! The questions asked were inviting and the chance to reattempt quizzes helps memorize things more easily, and work to improve your answers".
Volunteer befriender, Essex
Core Skills in Befriending for Volunteers
"I really enjoyed the course! The questions asked were inviting and the chance to reattempt quizzes helps memorize things more easily, and work to improve your answers".
Volunteer befriender, Essex
Core Skills in Befriending for Volunteers
"I think it was a well balanced and useful course which has helped to prepare me for my role as a befriender. I enjoyed reading the information and also testing my knowledge and understanding of the various topics".
Volunteer befriender, Essex
Vital Skills Risk Management course
"The session was interactive, allowing participants to hear from colleagues and their own practices. Delivery was informative, interesting, and fun. Time given to reflect on own practices and feedback to group".
Training Participant, Glasgow
Core Skills in befriending for Volunteers
"The course provided essential information on how the befriending relationship develops, what to expect from the other person and how to make it work. More importantly, it indicates how to deal with difficult situations, what rules to follow and where to look for support".
Volunteer Befriender, Essex
Vital Skills in Befriending
"I have completed all nine Vital Skills courses. I have found them all to be excellent and all the venues accessible. The delivery has been outstanding and has helped shape my role as a coordinator".
Service Coordinator, West Lothian
Telephone and distance befriending training (Distance course)
"Good to share ideas with other coordinators and the Befriending Networks facilitator. The content of the course was very relevant and well prepared. The delivery of the course was excellent. Everything was well explained and the course ran very smoothly"
Training participant, Norfolk
Telephone and distance befriending training (Distance course)
"So helpful to consider all the different benefits of distance befriending and to hear how other organisations manage their service. As always, the course was very well facilitated. Would highly recommend to other organisations."
Training participant, Western isles
Recruitment and Selection Distance Module
A very enjoyable, informative course. I particularly enjoyed the video conference.
Training participant, Monifieth
Telephone and distance befriending training
This was my first online training course and I was pleasantly surprised at how useful it has been. This will definitely help me improve the service we currently provide in regards to preparing volunteers before they start and establishing better ground rules for both befrienders and befriendees.
Training participant, London
Volunteer online course
"This was an extremely comprehensive course, with a good range of activities and some very useful explanations, scenarios, and diagrams. I think it should be mandatory for all befrienders, with refresher courses available at regular intervals."
Volunteer Befriender, PACE UK
Volunteer online course
"Many thanks for the mental workout, the chance to reflect and the greater understanding of befriending."
Volunteer Befriender,
Telephone and distance befriending training
"I found it really useful to discuss the issues and ways to overcome them. I enjoyed the session. It was good to get the perspectives of the other participants. It was well paced and contained relevant theory information."
Group befriending training
"The group discussions were all really relevant. As I am new to group befriending, the session has given me lots of information to go away and digest in preparation for starting some group befriending. Excellent course. As always, very well delivered"
Members' support
Thank you for another year of exceptional service!
LINK East Fife Befriending Project
Quality in Befriending Standard
'I felt the report was through and provided me with keys things for consideration'
Shetland Befriending Scheme
Quality in Befriending Standard
'It tightened up processes, put things in writing that were previously in our heads, lots of new policies and procedures now on paper and regularly reviewed'.
Homelink Family support
Networking meetings
Just want to say thanks for the fantastic meeting last week, I found it really informative and interesting.
Age UK Leics
Online Training
“This session will change the way I recruit volunteers. It is always good to talk to other volunteer managers to see how they do things and get new ideas/confirmation that other people have the same issues/successes. It’s great to have these sessions online!”
Carers Leeds
Training Feedback
“Many thanks – it was a fabulous training session!! I’ve had some great feedback from the volunteers who attended”