Young Persons Befriending Service
Volunteer Glasgow’s Young Persons Befriending Service provides support to isolated and vulnerable 8–18 year olds living in funded areas of Glasgow. The service matches young people who are experiencing difficulties with adult volunteers who are recruited, trained and supported. The Service benefits three main groups:
Young People, who will:
- build a relationship with a supportive adult;
- have opportunities for personal development and the potential for increasing resilience;
- have access to activities and community resources which had previously been out of their reach.
Befrienders, who will:
- access a high quality volunteering opportunity;
- attend Foundation and ongoing training;
- gain or further develop skills and capacities valuable in the employment market;
- make a significant difference to a young person and a contribution to the community.
Communities, which will
- see the addition to service provision to children and families.
It is also the experience of YPBS (over a number of years) that participants in befriending have fun. Young Persons Befriending Service is supported by Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Community Planning Partnership. The service was amongst the first in Scotland to be awarded Approved Provider Standard — a national benchmark from the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.
Do you want to volunteer?
Please note that the Young Persons Befriending Service is not currently recruiting volunteers. We hope to be recruiting again in the near future so keep checking our page on this website. Thank you for your interest.
Adults volunteer as befrienders for young people for a variety of reasons:
- career development;
- personal development;
- desire to make a contribution to the community;
- desire to make a difference to a young person’s life;
- to have fun.
The Young Persons Befriending Service asks volunteers to complete training before making a decision so that the volunteer can make an informed commitment to a befriending match. A befriending relationship will be rewarding, challenging and will take time to develop. Weekly visits of around 2–3 hours will allow you to build a relationship with your young person which may:
- increase their self-confidence and resilience;
- provide a positive adult role model;
- enable access to activities which previously were beyond their reach;
- encourage them to have fun.
Regular meetings with your support worker will make sure your match is going well and you have everything you need to continue to enjoy your volunteering – feedback on your match; expenses; activity ideas; additional training opportunities. Volunteer Support Events will let you meet with other befrienders to share experience, talk over progress or difficulties and exchange tips or ideas.
Befrienders have said:
“I hadn’t been at any kind of training for years so I was a bit nervous but I soon got into the swing of it. The sessions were fun but made me think about a lot of things that hadn’t occurred to me before.” — Befriender of girl aged 8.
“At the beginning it wasn’t clear whether he wanted a befriender or not, so I spoke to my support worker after almost every visit for a while. Things have settled down now – he seems to enjoy befriending now but it’s good to talk the visits over and to know that the support’s there when I need it.” — Befriender of boy aged 15.
“I wanted to do something that would make a difference to a child but was worried about how hard it would be. I never expected to get so much out of it – she’s given me so much to think about and I’m having so much fun.” — Befriender of girl aged 11.
If you feel you have something to give and something to gain as a Befriender please get in touch (our contact details are further down the page).
Requesting a befriender
Young people who are having difficulties, whether that is because of unusual pressures in the family or at school, can be matched with a volunteer befriender who will spend 2–3 hours a week with them, sharing activities and building a relationship which gives support and opportunities to have fun. Anyone can refer a young person to YPBS but Volunteer Glasgow would expect a referrer to have discussed the referral with you and your child beforehand. A Support Worker from YPBS will visit you and give you information about the service and find out about your child so that we can match them with the most suitable volunteer. All the volunteers have completed training with Volunteer Glasgow and have been carefully vetted. Once your child has been matched with a volunteer befriender they would spend time together once a week – some matches meet at the same time each week and others arrange visits from week to week. Your Support Worker will visit every 2 or 3 months to talk over how the match is going, how your child is benefitting from the service and to check that there are no problems.
Young People and family members have said:
“It’s made a big difference – having someone who takes him out to badminton and football. He loves sport but without his befriender he wouldn’t go by himself. I was worried he’d get into trouble before – a lot of kids just hang around – but he’s not interested.” — Parent of boy aged 14.
“I didn’t know how it would work – she’s not confident about people she doesn’t know but at first visits were short and now she can’t wait for her befriender to come.” — Parent of girl aged 9.
“It’s good – she listens to me and lets me know the things I want to talk about are important.” — Young person aged 13.
If you would like to refer a young person or would like further information about the Young Persons Befriending Service please contact any member of the team (contact details are further down the page)
Do you know a young person you would like to refer?
The Young Persons Befriending Service operates an open referral system so that the support which befriending offers is readily accessible to the most vulnerable. It is important to discuss the Service with the young person and their parents/carers before making the referral. Support staff will gather as much information as possible about the young person, their circumstances, abilities and interests so that the Service can identify the most suitable volunteer befriender for each individual young person. The emphasis on the best match for each young person means that waiting times for young people are not the primary factor in the matching process. Befriending provides an addition to services for children and families so support staff will maintain contact with referring agencies throughout a match so that the service can respond to changing circumstances or simply be informed about what’s going on for the young person. Support staff will be happy to update referrers on a befriending match on a regular basis and attend reviews or planning meetings so that befriending can complement other service provision.
Young Persons Befriending Service, Volunteer Glasgow, 84 Miller St, Glasgow, G1 1DT Telephone: 0141 226 3431 Fax: 0141 221 0716 Email: email@example.com