News & Press
Welcome to Befriending Networks' Media Centre.
100 Days until Befriending Week
Today begins the countdown to Befriending Week 1-7 November 2020. This year has brought about unprecedented circumstances and challenges, and yet, befriending organisations have adapted and demonstrated their dedication to keeping communities connected. That is why this year, Befriending Week celebrates everything #BefriendingIs
Launching the Befriending Map of Gaps 2020
In January 2020 Alex Hempton, a 3rd year Marketing Management student from Edinburgh Napier University, joined the team at Befriending Networks on a 5-month Research & Marketing placement aiming to update the Befriending Map of Gaps.
The placement turned out a little differently than expected. As responses to Alex’ questionnaire began to arrive from befriending organisations and projects across Scotland, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic began to hit. Despite this he continued with the research and we are now able to launch the Befriending Map of Gaps 2020.
There's cause to Celebrate during Loneliness Awareness Week
Loneliness Awareness Week (15-19 June) seems even more relevant this year, as social distancing measures have caused many to experience loneliness, but also many to reach out to those who are lonely. Read why Beverley Swan, who this week marked her first year as a Befriending Coordinator with Age UK North Tyneside, has cause to celebrate...
Thank You Volunteers Past, Present and Future
During Volunteers’ Week 1-7 June 2020, it was uplifting and inspiring to see so many messages of thanks to volunteers past, present, and future. Families First – St Andrews was one among many of our members who celebrated, recognised and thanked volunteers all week long. Here’s a spotlight on some of their volunteers’ stories.
#VolunteeringIs...Making a Positive Difference
"Hello my name is Emma and I have just started volunteering with the Community Champions team at VASL. The Community Champions team asked me to write a short piece about my experience so far as a volunteer and loneliness."
New Technologies help Befriendships Blossom
Social distancing measures put in place because of COVID-19 have caused a surge in the use of video calling technologies as people seek to connect and 'see' one another. In many cases this has allowed befriending, which usually takes place through face to face meetings to take place online. But how is it for those who are new to technology? Julie from VASL Community Champions shares a success story.
What does the 'New Normal 'mean for Befriending?
As the governments across the UK aim to loosen lockdown CEO Sarah shares her thoughts on things we need to consider and the implications for befriending. "I would suggest that considering our collective responsibility to others and the rights, wellbeing and dignity of those most vulnerable in our communities, must be at the heart of our next steps".
As the circumstances around COVID-19 continue to change, Befriending Networks aims to keep befriending and other volunteer-involving organisations up to date and supported as best we can. Here is the latest update containing suggestions about adapting as measures for easing lockdown begin and information on how to access the resources we have made available (updated 14 May 2020).
New £5 million Loneliness Fund Opened
A new £5 million Loneliness Fund was launched on 13 May 2020 and there continues to be smaller grant funding opportunities to support organisations supporting communities during COVID-19.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues Befriending Networks aims to keep befriending and other volunteer-involving organisations up to date and supported as best we can. Here is the latest update containing guidance and information on how to access the resources we have made available and support from the team (updated 5 May 2020). The situation continues to change so please continue to check here for new information, guidance and/or resources.
Befriending grows in challenging times
Since the beginning of the pandemic, BHA BeFriend has demonstrated commitment to their community in Berwickshire and continue to expand the number of people services support and the number of volunteers involved as well as spread good news and encouragement through social media.
Creativity Keeps Befriendships Going
Many befriendships (friendships formed through befriending) are built on going out and about to cafes, on walks, to events etc - all things social distancing now prevents. Learn more about how a creative volunteer with West Kent Befriending Service founds news ways to connect during COVID-19.
Befriending and bluebells bring hope
Charlotte, story chaplain and volunteer befriender with Time to Talk Befriending, shares how spending moments together noticing 'the little things' in life makes a big difference.
National Performance Framework
Befriending Networks' CEO Sarah Van Putten speaks at SCVO The Gathering about how Befriending Networks uses the National Performance Framework.
Connected Communities: Welsh Loneliness and Social Isolation Strategy
This week saw the publication of Connected Communities, Wales' strategy for tackling loneliness and social isolation and building stronger social connections.
How 'Blue Monday' got us talking about Loneliness
This year there was a social media buzz around 'Blue Monday' that started conversations about the meaning and impact of loneliness.
Launch of Campaigns Raising Awareness about Loneliness
Throughout the festive season and into the New Year, several campaigns have been launched to increase awareness about the prevalence of loneliness in the UK, the damaging effects loneliness has on health and wellbeing, organisations who support those who are lonely, and ways to volunteer to help tackle what has been labelled a 'loneliness epidemic'.
Befriending Week 2019 Broke Records!
Befriending Week 1-7 November 2019 put the Spotlight on Health and Wellbeing and there were more celebrations, participation, engagment and excitement than ever before! Read a summary of the week.
Charlotte and Time to Talk Befriending
Charlotte, who is now 86, was referred to Time to Talk Befriending in 2016 by her physiotherapist. Charlotte has only been living full time as a female for the past 2 years, for 83 years of her life she lived as Ronald.
David - Befriending Lewis
“Sixty years with my wife (after she had passed) is hard to recover from, but making so many new friends and meeting my fantastic Befriendee, has left me with a positive outlook for the future. I would not have thought this would have been possible a short while ago”