People Know How - #BefriendingIs eye-opening!

Fri 4 Nov 2022

During #BefriendingWeek, let's hear what #BefriendingIs from People Know How:

Befriending is… eye-opening!
Bill’s time as a volunteer befriender opened him up to a new world of experiences!

For Befriending Week 2022, we spoke with one of our VIPs (volunteers, interns and placement students) Bill about his time as a volunteer befriender and the ways in which the opportunity gave him a new perspective.

Bill joined People Know How as a volunteer befriender in April 2021, providing digital support through our Reconnect service. During his time as a volunteer, Bill was matched with his befriendee and provided a friendly ear while supporting him through health difficulties.

Together the pair explored new interests and ideas. While his befriendee introduced Bill to Indian cooking and Russian literature, Bill helped him to maintain and improve his mental health and see additional benefits to his physical health.

‘He needed company and having someone help in small ways can make a big difference.’ – Bill, Befriender

Upon retirement, Bill was excited to gain experience as a volunteer. He looked to volunteering because of his interest in befriending and tutoring, as well as a desire to see how he could help the community.

After Bill was matched with his befriendee they soon discovered they both were of similar age with overlapping interests. The pair met once a week to go for walks, bike rides, coffees, and lunches. The hour-long sessions were relaxed and open, allowing his befriendee the space to chat about his life and spend time outside.

‘By the end, he had a lot more confidence, seemed more positive and much more willing to give things a go.’ – Bill, Befriender

Over the course of their sessions, Bill was amazed by the range of his befriendee’s interests – everything from Russian literature to Indian cooking. He gave Bill cooking lessons, and took him to international supermarkets, as well as a garden near Calton Hill. The experience not only brought benefits to the befriendee, but also opened Bill up to a whole range of new experiences.

‘I was really impressed with People Know How. They were really on top of things. Would love to come back soon!’  - Bill, Befriender

Befriending Week is a great reminder that befriending is a two-way street where both parties can gain huge benefits from the experience. It is a rewarding time that can change outlooks and spark new interests. At People Know How, we’re committed to ensuring that VIPs gain as much from their experience with us as we gain from their efforts, delivering high-quality and innovative projects while offering a learning environment with meaningful opportunities.

Find out more about our work at