Befriending is similar to buddying, where we link children and young people with volunteers so they can meet up regularly doing something that interests them.
Befriending is all about building a friendship with someone you can trust to spend time with you or take you out somewhere fun, giving you the independence and opportunities to do activities you like. Befrienders meet their Befriendees as often as weekly or fortnightly and plan an activity that they share or enjoy such as:
- Going to the cinema
- Going out for food
- Playing and watching sports
- Arts and crafts
- Playing video games and board games
We are dedicated to making sure that each child and young person we link is paired with the best volunteer for them. We spend time learning about you, or your child, to understand what's important to you, what would work best for you and who to pair you with.
Befriending is free! You only need to cover the costs of the activities for both your child and their volunteer.
All volunteers are subject to our safer recruitment processes which require them to submit two references, complete an enhanced DBS check, as well as undertake an interview and induction training.
Here is a case study of one of our befriending links
Befriending is suitable for a child or young person with a disability who:
- Are aged 0-20 years old and living in Bath and North-East Somerset, or are aged 5-18 years old and living in Bristol.
- Are able to form an ongoing befriending relationship with a volunteer.
- Have behaviour which allows a volunteer to look after them safely 1:1. We are not able to place a volunteer with a child who has unpredictable or unmanageable behaviour which could place themself and others at risk in a 1:1 situation with a volunteer.
- Need or would benefit from 1:1 support to achieve more independence from their primary carers and take part in social and leisure activities.
- Have a parent or carer who would benefit from a short break.
- Would ideally like a volunteer for between 2-4 hours on a regular basis such as weekly or fortnightly.
As our befrienders are volunteers there is a limit to the level of support they can provide so this service is not suitable for anyone who:
- Would require help from the volunteer with intimate personal care or frequent help with lifting and moving.
- Would need help from their volunteer with medication or medical procedures.
- Have a home situation which would cause their volunteer to be unsafe when visiting (i.e. other persons within the home, hygiene and basic safety standards within the home).
- Need a volunteer to stay after midnight.
- Are in crisis. There is no guarantee a suitable volunteer will be found and placed.
If you are unsure if the child or young person is eligible, or would like to discuss their individual circumstances, please call us for a chat on 0117 941 5868
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our co-ordinators will get back to you to explain the process and answer any questions you may have.