News & Press
Welcome to Befriending Networks' Media Centre.
Befriending Fund Opens to Applications
We are delighted to announce that we are now seeking applications for the Befriending fund. This funding has been allocated to Befriending Networks through the Scottish Government Winter Support Package, to tackle social isolation and loneliness over the winter period and in response to the particular challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Looking Back on 2020 with Befriending Networks
Befriending Networks reflects on 2020 and wishes its members a safe and happy holiday season.
(Please note, the Befriending Networks Team will have laptops closed & phone off from 5pm 22 December, returning 9am on 5 January)
Scottish Government’s Winter Support Package Funding Announcement
We are delighted to have been awarded funding of £100k from the Scottish Government’s Winter Support Package, that we can share with our members delivering local befriending projects in Scotland.
#Befriendingis Giving and Gaining with Arran CVS
Befriending takes place in all parts of the UK, in towns and cities, in rural locations, and in the islands. A befriender and a befriendee from a match that is supported by Arran CVS Befriending Project share their experiences.
#BefriendingIs Volunteering with Community Companions, St Barnabas House, West Sussex
Over the last few months, volunteering for St Barnabas House has been mostly on hold. One role that has been able to continue is our Community Companions offering telephone befriending. Volunteers Sue and Pete share their experiences.
#BefriendingIs Fun with a visit from Therapet Holly and the BHA BeFriend team in Berwickshire
The BeFriend project in Berwickshire has been finding new and creative ways to keep in touch safely since visiting in befriendees’ homes was suspended because of the pandemic. Holly, a registered Therapet with Canine Concern Scotland Trust, helps to make up the Therapet contingent of BeFriend and is featured saying hello through the window to her friend Mary. Mary’s face lights up whenever she sees Holly and Holly’s tail wags so much she almost wags herself out of Sarah’s arms!
#BefriendingIs a way of giving back with Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington
Read what volunteering means to Maisie, a 17 year old Good Friends Volunteer with Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington.
#Befriendingis Transforming Lives with Vintage Vibes, Edinburgh
Before connecting with Vintage Vibes, David rarely left the comforts of his home. Then he was introduced to Lindsey, and life beyond his four walls opened up.
#BefriendingIs Intergenerational as Aylesbury Youth Action volunteers spend time with care home residents
Aylesbury Youth Actions aims to support young people to develop their skills and have new experiences, by making and being recognised for a positive contribution to their community. AYA,’s befriending project is called Biscuit Buddies, two of whom share their stories here!
#BefriendingIs Moments of Togetherness with Opening Doors London
Befriending matters because it means a lot. Even thought the time shared between befriending matches may only be an hour a week, that time can be life changing. It is, therefore, difficult when a match comes to an end. Oli Gregory, a volunteer befriender with Opening Doors London, shares his feelings following the passing of his befriendee, Luke. Our thanks go to Oli for being so open in sharing his experience.
#BefriendingIs Welcoming New Friends with B:friend, Rotherham
Ursula felt her world ended at her garden gate, but thanks to B:friend, her circle is expanding with new people in her life and through fascinating conversation, she can now travel the world in her mind. Read more about Ursula's journey!
#BefriendingIs Supporting Wellbeing through Health in Mind Re:discover, Midlothian
Health in Mind volunteers have supported people in many innovative ways to stay connected and to focus on wellbeing during these unprecedented times. Lisa Hodkinson, Support and Development Worker, Re:discover, Health in Mind reflects, "Whilst we could never have anticipated the last few months, we feel proud about how quickly our volunteers and those using our befriending services have adapted to new ways of interacting, proactively trying new things to support positive mental health and wellbeing."
#Befriendingis Making a Huge Difference through Passing the Baton
Bethany Christian Trust’s Passing the Baton is a befriending service supporting vulnerable people in our community who are both at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness. Watch Carol and Sandra as they tell their story.
#BefriendingIs Brightening up your day - Joy and Diane from Carers Leeds share their experience of befriending
Read how Dianne and Joy have found a friend during a time when many have experienced an extended period of isolation and loneliness through Carers Leeds.
#BefriendingIs Communication with a phone call from Hospice Hope in Leicestershire
Read how the Hope House Befriending Service has continued to support people living in the North West Leicestershire area whose quality of life or life expectancy will be affected by their condition and provide support to their carers and partners throught their telephone service Hospice Hope and pen and email pal service.
#BefriendingIs Life Changing with SeeScape, Fife
"The enjoyment my Befriending volunteering has given me has been immense, I can thoroughly recommend if you have some time to give and like to chat – this is the role for you." Read about Keith Wallace's journey of first receiving support and then volunteering as a befriender with SeeScape, Fife.
#BefriendingIs Making Connections Creatively with Befriending Lewis & Harris
Discover how Befriending is making connections creatively across the UK through the Creative Postcard Exchange Project run by Befriending Lewis & Harris and hear from Alison, a befriender with Befriending Lewis, about what volunteering means to her.
#BefriendingIs Inspiring with LINK Befriending, Fife
Followers of Befriending Week may remember Liam Hayman’s story, published in 2018, in which he described the difference that LINK Adolescent Befriending had made to his life, first as a befriendee and, later, as a volunteer befriender. Even when Liam moved from Fife to study in Glasgow, he kept in touch with LINK Befriending and, when lockdown started and LINK set up the telephone befriending, Jane McIver, the project manager, approached Liam to ask if he would consider volunteering again...
#BefriendingIs Still Making a Difference after 30 Years with Befrienders SCIO, Argyll & Bute
For over 30 years Befrienders SCIO has offered befriending support to vulnerable children and young people throughout Argyll and Bute. After being involved with Befrienders for many of these years as a member of steering group, committee member, volunteer befriender, Project Worker and Project Manager, Cathi Bertin is now about to retire. Read Cathi's reflections that look back over her time of dedicated work!
#BefriendingIs Volunteering during COVID-19 with Together Co
As lockdown measures came into effect back in March, many people experienced loneliness and social isolation in ways they never had before. Befriending organisations and volunteers rapidly responded to this growing need for connection. Read one volunteer's experience with Together Co.