Befriender Toolkit: Training resources for members (2024)

We are aware that some people are facing difficulties adding a space to the basket. Please be aware that we are working on this issue and hope to resolve this as soon as possible. 

A range of resources for staff only, free to access but exclusive to members of Befriending Networks, to help with your training of befrienders. You cannot register volunteers for this resource. Please note that all resources require an edit to be appropriate to your project, policies and procedures and that this toolkit is not suitable for direct access of befrienders.

Terms and Conditions of this resource  
All resources within the toolkit are designed to assist your inhouse befriending training, and their individual use are not enough to qualify as competent befriending training. Good practice in befriending requires efficient and thorough training, and selecting only a couple exercises from this befriending training toolkit will not provide you with safe and competent befrienders. Ensure to read our How To Guide to develop your knowledge and understanding as to how best utilise this resource to create a strong and confident befriending team. 

However you like to train your befrienders, whichever resources make you feel most confident as a facilitator - we hopefully have something of use for you! Have a look at the outline of all the resources below to read what is available, or click here to see a visual overview

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, distance and hybrid befriending training. There are: Reading; Interactive; PowerPoint; Inforgraphics; Videos; Written and Audio resources.


We've provided the tools - now it is over to you to build the befrienders! Read the content list below and the information on how to register and access the Befriender Training Toolkit. 


Written Resources 

These can be used as handouts during training, activities to be emailed or posted to befrienders to do at home, or activities to complete as reflection assignments before any support and supervision meeting. The written activities included in the Befriender Training Toolkit are: 

  • Development plan as a befriender 
  • Preparing for your support and supervision 
  • Davie Grey poems and reflective questions 
  • Boundaries - What is okay in my project?
  • Reasons why befriending matches end? 
  • How can my project support me? 
  • The Equality Act - Knowing Protected Characterisitcs 


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

  • Davie Grey Part One (1min46)
  • Davie Grey Part Two (2min12)
  • Protecting wellbeing and your resilience (12min) 
  • Social connection and social skills (2min01)
  • Support and supervision (5min42)
  • Benefits of Befriending (4min06)
  • What is befriending? (1min31)
  • Looking after your volunters: The four principles (6min08) for staff training only 

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 Befrienders 
  • Understanding the positive impact of befriending 

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 
  • Communication in Befriending: Starting your match 
  • Endings in befriending: why do matches end? 
  • Trauma in befriending: How best to support
  • Roles and responsibility in befriending 

Podcast 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: 

  • What is befriending? (3min36) 
  • Building your befriending relationship (7min52)
  • Boundaries (5min47)
  • Communication skills (10min49)
  • Understanding bereavement (2min08)
  • Understanding trauma (2min24)
  • Social skills (2min30) 
  • Welcome to Befriending Networks sounds (1min57) 

Infographic Poster Resources

These are four top tip posters. Visual resources can be used to add some colour and provide simplified content to your training. 

  • Top Tips on Volunteering 
  • Top Tips on Being a Befriender 
  • Top Tips on Staying Safe during winter 
  • Top Tips on Signposting 


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 
  • Confidentiality and Safeguarding 
  • Communication and Building your relationship 
  • Top tips on being a befriender 


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 Befriender 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: 


Graphic to explain the toolkit access


By registering for the Befriender 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 Befriender Training Toolkit. Your details will not be shared with any external organisation or used for any communication that is not Befriender Training Toollkit related. 
By accessing our toolkit, you are agreeing to read through any materials prior to circulating or facilitating any of the toolkit with befrienders. It is the responsibility of any staff member accessing the toolkit to ensure any materials are edited or altered to be suitable for the befriending project, the speciific policies and procedures of said project, and representatative of the service users and circumstances that may be encountered by any befriender.