Case Study: Vintage Vibes

Thu 2 Nov 2023

Edinburgh-based charity and Befriending Networks member Vintage Vibes works to tackle the loneliness crisis in the city. Their befriending service matches volunteers with older people with similar interests, providing lasting companionship for them.

Now in its 9th year, Vintage Vibes has helped over 1000 older people to establish one-to-one friendships, based on mutually shared interests, from baking to music, and even gaming! Themed events and groups are also available to bring people together for fun and friendship.

Tackling loneliness

Georgia from Vintage Vibes recognises the impact their work has on the older people in Scotland’s capital.

'During the pandemic, we all faced the kind of isolation many older people suffer daily. Sadly, for a great many, that isolation will continue without our wonderful community of volunteers. Our work is making a real difference in the lives of older people in the city, forging meaningful connections, and creating real friendships.'

At the heart of the organisation’s work are their Friendship Volunteers, who feel the befriendees aren’t the only ones benefiting from the time they donate, as Aly explains:

'I’ve had so much fun since becoming a volunteer with Vintage Vibes. I was introduced to a lovely lady, based on our shared love of coffee, and connecting people. On top of our weekly coffee shop visits, we also enjoy going for milkshakes, attending concerts, going for beach walks, and attending events hosted by Vintage Vibes. Our connection has made a real difference to her wellbeing and quality of life and has also given me a great new friend and a lot of shared good times.'

Another Friendship volunteer, Kevin, echoes Aly’s thoughts.

'It doesn’t feel like volunteering, it feels like a genuine friendship, and I love doing it. My VIP and I bonded over music and one of my most rewarding memories as a volunteer is when my VIP started to relax in my company. He played the keyboard while I played guitar, and we had a great time. I went to see a band with my VIP and his family at a local pub, and it was amazing to see him having so much fun and enjoying life.'

Changing lives for the better

Vintage Vibes’ 2023 annual survey showed that 75% of their VIPs felt that being involved in the project had improved their mental health, with 95% feeling happier and having a better quality of life.

Betty, one of Vintage Vibes’ VIPs sums it up best:

'You make my life worthwhile.'

Become a Friendship Volunteer

Vintage Vibes is looking for new Edinburgh-based volunteers to expand their Friendship Project and offer support to even more older people across the city. If you’d like to read more about Vintage Vibes and find out how to become a Friendship Volunteer, please visit their profile on the Befriending Networks Directory or email