Fun and Fundraising: A Winning Combination

Tue 17 Sep 2019

Befriending Networks were delighted to be able to arrange for Christina McKelvie MSP, Minister for Older People and Equalities, with responsibility for the loneliness strategy to visit member organisation People Know How.

During the hour visit, Ms McKelvie heard from volunteers, students, staff and beneficiaries. Volunteers shared how their volunteering had led to employment with People Know How or had led to them gaining skills for their future careers.

Glenn Liddall explained People Know How’s philosphy in supporting and encouraging their VIP’s (volunteers, interns and placment students) and vital part they play in delivering People Know How’s servcies.

Ms Mckelvie was able to hear about the highly successful transition project supporting young people through that difficult time from Primary to Secondary school and the key role Befreinding has in the young people’s lives.  She was able to try some of the fun science activities that the groups have enjoyed and was gifted a handmade stress ball that made her smile.

Nigel a befriender from the transition project spoke about why he enjoys supporting the young people. He is matched with his third young person and is a seasoned befriender.  The learning from this project has helped People Know How expand to support adults and older adults in Edinburgh too, with new initiatives such as the Digital Befriending Project and soon to launch walking befriending project. We look forward to seeing the success of these projects over the coming years.

Lastly Ms McKelvie in her role as Minister for Older People and Equalities was able to announce Befriending Networks core funding from the Scottish Government.  Ms McKelvie announced £80k over the next 2 years to support Befriending Networks role in providing support, information and range of networking and learning events that support befriending organisations across Scotland to deliver high quality befriending and to raise awareness.

Sarah Van Putten CEO of Befriending Networks said “We are delighted to have our core funding confirmed for the next 2 years, this will enable us to continue to deliver free Common Ground Networking meetings, affordable training and membership fees and a range of resources free to members on our website as well as ensuring we have capacity to act as the voice of the sector and to continue our role in supporting the implementation of ‘A Connected Scotland’ as part of the National Implementation Group”.