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Befriending Facts and Figures 2008

21 April 2008

Some interesting facts and figures about the befriending sector in Scotland from the number of volunteer hours worked through to existing gaps in provision.

  • 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
  • It costs £2800 to provide a child with a befriender each year as opposed to £110,000 to keep them in residential care
  • 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. The average project will employ two staff (who usually work part-time), 6 Board members and will support 25 befrienders and 25 clients a year.
  • Befriending projects exist for children and young people, older people, or people isolated because of mental health problems, disabilities, or addictions amongst many other reasons
  • The Big Lottery have singled befriending out as one of their priority funding areas
  • Although there are 250+ befriending projects in Scotland, coverage can be patchy. For instance, Perth does not have a befriending project working with older people, Edinburgh only has one small project working with adults with mental health problems. It can only take on about 33 clients a year.
  • Befriending projects for older people are thin on the ground, despite an ageing population. For instance, only 1 in 300 older people in Edinburgh have access to a volunteer befriender.

Find out more:

For more information on this article, contact Liz Watson on 0131 261 8799, or email admin@befriending.co.uk.