Case Study: People Know How

Mon 6 Nov 2023

Befriending Networks member People Know How support children, young people, and their families in the transition from primary to secondary school through their Positive Transitions programme.

Working across Edinburgh and the Lothians, the service is designed to make pupils feel valued and understood, improve their self-esteem and peer relationships, and enable them to fulfil their potential. Volunteer befrienders provide pupils with a positive role model, a safe space to chat, and the opportunity to take part in activities. Often it means a break for them from a busy home environment.

Making a difference

Laura became a befriender with People Know How in 2022 after her daughter left for university. With spare time on her hands, she knew she wanted to support a young person and make a difference in their life.

Sophie had struggled with confidence and felt isolated during the pandemic. When it was suggested that she was matched with a befriender, she was wary.

Though their sessions started off slowly, Sophie did share some of her interests and worries she had in navigating school life. Laura reflected on the experiences she had as a mother, and her own daughter had at school to help Sophie.

One worry for Sophie was talking at the school assembly. Theresa used positive affirmations and practice sessions to build her confidence. It wasn’t long before Sophie went into her assembly with her head held high, and was excited to share how it went with Laura.

Learning together

Focus was another area Sophie struggled with, and she would get frustrated when she couldn’t do something straight away.

With a love of arts and crafts, Laura created sessions for them to try new crafts together, learning along the way. She showed Sophie that doing crafts is just as fun as reaching the end result. As the sessions progressed, they learned lots of new skills, including paper mâché, crochet, and bonnet making.

Laura’s support has resulted in Sophie wanting to follow in her footsteps. She now supports a primary two child as a buddy, helping them to settle into a new school and make new friends.

The befriending process helped Laura to have a greater understanding of the different experiences that young people have today and a new perspective on the challenge of growing up.

'I’m so proud to have played a small part in helping Sophie. It’s been wonderful to see her confidence and abilities grow.'

Volunteer with Positive Transitions

Learn more about the Positive Transitions programme by visiting the People Know How profile on the Befriending Networks Directory.