Case Study: Kincardine & Deeside Befriending

Sun 5 Nov 2023

A member of Befriending Networks, Kincardine & Deeside Befriending recruits, trains and supports volunteer befrienders who are matched with isolated people aged 55 and over, to provide them with social contact.

Befrienders visit their befriendees every one to two weeks, brightening up their week through a range of activities based on the interests of the befriendee. For some, it’s simply the opportunity to stay at home and reminisce or chat over a cup of something hot, play games or complete the crossword.

In other cases, the befriender gets the befriendee out on a short trip, perhaps to a local café, salon, or to the shops.

The regular visits can help reduce social isolation and loneliness, provide companionship, practical and emotional support, and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

The perfect match

M, now 84, was referred to Kincardine & Deeside Befriending in early 2021. She lived alone, and had mild cognitive impairment and a visual impairment. M suffered from low mood and anxiety and was feeling lonely and isolated.

She was matched with J through the befriending programme. On some visits, M doesn’t feel like going out, while at other times they get into the car and head for a trip for tea and cake.

Although M’s memory can be poor, she really enjoys lively conversation and is able to reminisce clearly. She’s thoroughly enjoyed being matched with J.

'I get excited knowing J is coming. She is lovely. I can really talk to her and we have good conversations. The family doesn’t listen, but J does.'  

Making a difference

J can see the positive impact their time together is having.

'It is obvious to me that M gets a great deal from our meeting. She often says ‘You have made my day’ and how much she is enjoying being out. I think the mental stimulation of talking about the past and taking a drive and having a coffee out is hugely beneficial.'

And she has gotten a lot out of the role too.

'For me, I have always enjoyed being a befriender. It is very rewarding to know you have brightened up their day and made them feel better. I love hearing the stories about the past, what it was like to live in a different generation, and the lives they have led.'

Become a befriender

Kincardine & Deeside Befriending seeks volunteers to become befrienders. You’ll be fully supported, and training will be provided, which can be completed in a flexible way to suit your time.

To get involved as a befriender, please visit the Kincardine & Deeside Befriending page on the Befriending Networks Directory.