Staff Access to Volunteer Training Toolkit (Membership Exclusive 2023)

I can't think of anything to improve it, it's great! - User 2022
Excellent well thought out toolkit. Raises all key issues we need for Volunteer training - User 2021


A range of resources for staff only, exclusive to members of Befriending Networks, to help with your operations recruiting and training volunteers.

We provided free interim volunteer training during the pandemic and surveyed our users throughout. Taking the time to read everyone's comments, suggestions and requests, this training toolkit is our aim at meeting all your needs. As you will see below, it is designed to fit your preference. However you like to train your volunteers, whether it is through videos, activities or PowerPoints, reading or writing - we hopefully have something of use for you!

Have a look at the outline of all the resources below. You will be granted access to resources once register to gain access. you have attended an How To Session with Befriending Networks. This is an opportunity for you to really learn about the training toolkit, to ask questions to the creator directly and so that we can ensure our resources are being used responsibly.

We really have tried to be as flexible as possible as we know our 300 odd membership befriending projects come in all shapes and sizes. Have a look, pick and choose what you want to use. Content is designed to cater to face-to-face training as well as distance befriending. This is so it can hopefully be an efficient resource for you during the pandemic and after, no matter the form of your befriending project. There are: Reading; Interactive; PowerPoint; Videos; Written and Audio resources.

We've provided the tools - now it is over to you to build the volunteers!


Content of the Volunteer Training Toolkit 


All videos have closed captions and/or readible content, as well as narration to ensure accessibility. The videos included are: 

  • Boundaries
  • Building a Relationship
  • Communication Skills
  • Making a positive Impact
  • Davie Grey Part One – a short story on loneliness
  • Davie Grey Part Two – a short story on the benefits of befriending
  • Four principles for looking after your volunteers (for staff only)

Interactive Activities

There are a number of activities available, highlighting training that you could run with volunteers either online or in person. These activities are suggestions and can be used for inspiration to create your own or can be followed as designed. Topics covered in interactive activities are: 

  • Boundaries in Befriending Relationships 
  • Roles and Responsibilities Within Befriending 
  • Having Your First Discussion with your Match 
  • Reasons Why Matches End 

Audio Resources (MP3 Streaming)

We are aware that volunteers may like the opportunity to multitask, listening to podcasts while working, commuting or looking after dependents for example. For this reason, we created short clips that you can share the link to with your volunteers. Topics available in MP3 for streaming are: 

  • Building a Befriending Relationship
  • Boundaries in Befriending 
  • Communication Skills  


Whether training your volunteers on Zoom or in-person, presenting details through PowerPoint is a great way to provide visuals, reading and discussion in one step. Our PowerPoints are designed with core volunteer training content, with the ability for you to edit the PowerPoints to insert your logo, branding, contact details and or specifics such as policies and procedures. The three presentations included in this volunteer training toolkit are: 

  • Support and Supervision 
  • Communication 
  • Confidentiality and Safeguarding  

Reading Materials

Many volunteers are struggling with either digital poverty or digital inability. It is important that volunteer training is accessible and for this reason, we provide reading materials. These could be printed and posted to volunteers, used as handouts during volunteer training. Additional, the PowerPoints could be printed too. The reading materials include: 

  • Good Practice Guide: Being a Befriender 
  • Protecting Your Wellbeing: Guidance for Volunteers 

Reflective Written Work

The following resources are available for staff to use as additional volunteer training materials. These could be used during training as individual activities, group activities, assignments for support and supervision sessions or posted to volunteers for consideration. Reflective written work covers the following topics: 

  • Your qualities and room for improvement 
  • Expectations of volunteering and avoiding disappointment 
  • The Equality Act: Knowing the Protected Characteristics 
  • How my project can support me 
  • Reasons why befriending matches may end
  • Boundaries: What is OK in my project? 


Key Information for Using our Volunteer Toolkit 

The newly developed Volunteer Training Toolkit is one of the key benefits Befriending Networks offers to its members. This Toolkit provides befriending coordinators with a variety of resources to assist in training volunteer befrienders. It has been specifically designed to provide essential information about befriending, which should be used alongside in-house, organisation-specific training. Befriending Networks cannot be responsible for training your volunteers in their entirety. As an organisation, you must take responsibility for educating your volunteers on the specific policies and procedures of your project. For example: Who your safeguarding officer is and how to contact them. 


You can register as many staff within your project as you need - but you cannot register volunteers. These resources are for facilitators only, and must be used internally in conjection with your policies and procedures. 


In your booking confirmation email, you will recieve the link to access the Volunteer Training Toolkit. This will be an automatical email from our website and may come to your inbox or spam folder. Please check both. 


Contact the toolkit creator with any questions you may have: 


By registering for the Volunteer Training Toolkit, you are agreeing to our GDPR statement: We will maintain your contact details so that we can provide you with information if/when changes or additions are made to the Volunteer Training Toolkit. Your details will not be shared with any external organisation or used for any communication that is not VTT related.