One-to-One Befriending Service old
Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone. For people who become isolated because of ill health, disability or social disadvantage, being matched with a befriender often fills a big gap. Befriending Networks Scotland, website 01 June 2018
All of the children and young people who use our one-to-one befriending service are referred because of the challenges they face in life.
Families First staff and volunteers can befriend children and young people between five and sixteen years of age. Most of our volunteer befrienders are students from the University of St Andrews.
One-to-one befriending is an activity the children and young people can take part in when they are ready to do so. The children and young people are matched with a volunteer who provides companionship, supportive guidance, and access to a variety of activities, new experiences and opportunities.
All of our activities are child-led and focus on the child’s safety, goals, needs and emotional well-being. Popular befriending activities include baking, arts and crafts, local places of interest, and physical activities such as swimming and tennis.
As they develop a trusting relationship the young person may choose to share their worries with their befriender. The befriender will help them to figure out the best way forward. Befrienders give children and young people individual attention and support, provide them with encouragement, and help reduce feelings of isolation.
We notice that a number of positive changes can happen for a child as they become involved with the one-to-one befriending service. These include an increase in self-esteem, a reduction in isolation, improved relationships and positive changes that will influence a child's life chances. We work in close partnership with everyone linked to the child to ensure they can achieve the best that they can.
All befriending sessions are coordinated by our Befriending Coordinator who leads a team of trained volunteers. The Befriending Coordinator is on duty during befriending sessions. Befriending evenings are arranged by geographical area in the hope that children will form friendships with others from their local community.