First Steps ED

Befriending provides support by creating a means of communication to discuss your difficulties in times of need. It allows you to talk things through with someone who understands and is non-judgemental. It gives you a space to work on recovery, offload and express how you might be thinking or feeling.

We also understand the difficulties a family member or friend goes through when a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, so befriending is open to carers too.

Befriending at First Steps ED takes place via email, or over our Video Clinic.

The objectives of the Befriending Project are:

 To help befriendees form a rewarding relationship on the path to recovery
 To support befriendees by providing a means of communication to discuss their difficulties in times of need
 To provide a signposting service when alternative support may be beneficial
 To provide a means of recognition when the befriendee has overcome a difficulty and taken a positive step[s]
 To provide support to those caring for a loved one with an eating disorder

Information for volunteers

Role description

Offering one to one support on a weekly basis for a period of up to 6 months over our video clinic, or
Offering one to one support twice a week for a period of up to 9 months over email

Befriending at First Steps ED involves supporting service users on a one to one basis, for their eating disorder and in their recovery. A role of a befriender is to listen, provide empathy and encouragement and support service users as they work on goals / express their thoughts and feelings.


To support 2 befriendees
Reliably contacting your befriendee's the agreed amount of times (once or twice a week)
Engaging in monthly supervision

Time commitment

6 - 9 months from first befriendee contact

Both roles are flexible as to when they take place. Email befriending allows you choose which two days suit you, and you can send the emails anytime between 7am and 9pm on those days. With the weekly calls, I will arrange the first call at a time that suits both you and the befriendee. After that, you will arrange directly with your befriendee the date and time of the following weeks call.


First Steps ED
Woburn House
Vernon Gate