Case Study: STAR Project Community Befriending Scheme

Wed 1 Nov 2023

The STAR Project Community Befriending Scheme provides befriending support to local individuals and families. Based in Renfrewshire, the award-winning Befriending Networks member employs a person-centred approach to deliver sustainable and positive outcomes to families and communities in the North End of Paisley and beyond.

The Community Befriending Scheme matches individuals and families with volunteer befrienders, who can offer support and friendship. Befriending relationships can be short or long-term, and in-person or online. 

Regaining independence 

Previously very active and independent, Ruby was referred to STAR Project after a diagnosis of a neurological condition. Her mobility and speech were greatly affected, and she was struggling to come to terms with the restrictions her condition put on her. She particularly wanted to get out more and meet new people.

Staff at STAR Project felt that while Ruby was keen to engage with their workshops and drop-ins, a Befriender would be the most suitable support due to her lack of confidence.

Making new connections

Ruby was matched with Jade, who was new to befriending volunteering. Like Ruby, she was nervous about their first meeting, but it didn’t take long for them to make a connection and they were soon chatting away like old friends.

Meeting in their local supermarket café, their chats helped Ruby to grow in confidence. They attended a STAR Project Drop-in together and even learned some crochet from another community member.

Their Befriending relationship came to an end when Ruby was offered further treatment for her condition at hospital, which meant she didn’t have enough time in her week to meet Jade.

Achieving goals

But for Ruby, Befriending has already helped her achieve the goals she set out at the beginning of the process:

It’s been lovely. Jade is really nice, and everyone in STAR (staff and community members) are very helpful and cheery. My confidence has improved and I have grown up so much and Befriending and STAR were a big part of that. It was lovely being able to visit the wee shop (Pantry Plus) and feel more connected to the community.

Ruby and Jade's Befriending may have ended, but Ruby says her rediscovered confidence means she’s looking forward to coming along to workshops and the drop-in at STAR in the future:

I felt very supported, it was good to know that you were always there, and I could phone whenever I needed.

Befriending support

If you would like to find out more about STAR Project and their Befriending Scheme, either to gain extra support or to volunteer as a Befriender, please visit their profile on our Directory