Spotlight on BeFriends
Spotlight on BeFriends
What target groups do you help?
Children and young people 5-25 years, who are often vulnerable and socially isolated, and would benefit from one-to-one support from a trusted adult out with their family setting to help enhance their health and wellbeing.
And how do the volunteers help?
Volunteers are fully trained to become befrienders. They are carefully matched and meet with a child or young person in the community to chat and have fun accessing activities and enjoying new experiences, while helping them to develop their self-confidence and life skills and social development.
What volunteer roles do you have, and do you have any areas you wish to get more volunteer involvement?
We need more one-to-one volunteer befrienders. Befrienders can also offer support to work with our groups.
What skills & experience are required to volunteer with you?
Motivation, reliability, flexibility, adaptability and ability to commit for at least 8 months. Patience, empathy, ability to listen well, being non-judgemental, and non-discriminatory. Experience of working with children and young people is not essential, but a good understanding of young people’s needs and issues that affect them is required.
What training can the volunteer expect?
Initial full day training and induction course covering a range of subjects: Child protection, working scenarios, background to befriends, policies governing the work, setting boundaries, planning activities, expenses reimbursement, reporting on the work.
Befrienders undertake a PVG check with Disclosure Scotland.
Volunteers statement or story – Alison
Alison has been a befriender to young people for three years and joined BeFriends for because she wanted to give something back to someone else to help them through life. With a background as a primary teacher and latterly in as a worker in education services, Alison wanted to use her skills in volunteering with vulnerable young people.
She explains: “I enjoy the company of children and young people and given the age of my own children; I had more time available to give. I was also aware of the huge need in Dundee of this type of service [befriending]. I enjoy gaining enjoyment and satisfaction from being positively involved in the life of young people.”
A story or statement told by someone who benefits from your organisation and the involvement of Volunteers.