Befriending – it’s a kind of Magic!
Befriending volunteers offer support to young people
Our Training for Volunteers is now delivered via Zoom – get in touch and get involved!
We’ll be scheduling the next programme for January 2021 so you still have time to be part of it.
YPBS is designed for young people who are experiencing difficulties – these may relate to unusual pressures at home; health or disability issues or some other factor. Most of the young people that YPBS matches face a number of difficulties and many have had experiences of relationships which have been inconsistent or unreliable. Befriending seeks to offer these young people a different experience – one where they have opportunities for new and positive activities, where they have choices, where they can learn to trust their own judgement and where they can have fun. This sounds like a tall order but with weekly visits with a volunteer befriender who holds the young person in positive regard, access to age appropriate activities, support from experienced and informed staff and enough time a relationship can be built which allows the young person to develop confidence, skills and resilience.
YPBS Volunteers are adults who are interested in supporting a young person, are able to spend time with someone once a week for between 2 and 3 hours, meet with their Support Worker for an hour every 4 visits and are able to commit to a befriending relationship which may be difficult and will certainly require several months to develop. On average matches last about 18 months so this should be seen as a long term investment in yourself. Come along and talk to us about the time you have to offer.
Since the beginning of the pandemic restrictions in March befriending has adapted so that young people still have the support they need and everyone is safe. Some “visits” are phone or video calls, some are a walk, a chat and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate but some still involve a shared activity when this is safe and comfortable for everyone.
We have attained the Quality in Befriending Award at Excellence level so you can be confident that as a volunteer you will be recruited, trained, matched and supported to a very high standard. It also means that your views and experience of volunteering with YPBS will be sought and will inform service delivery and development.
As a Volunteer Befriender you stand to gain:
- experience and skills valuable to employers and training/education providers
the opportunity to impact positively on a young person, their outlook and development
a chance to try new activities or revisit ones you haven’t done for years
a way of contributing to your community
YPBS will provide Foundation training (around 15 hours) as part of the recruitment and selection process. That way you will know what will be expected of you as a Befriender and what you can expect from YPBS in terms of support. The training is designed to prepare you for the role of Befriender and to allow YPBS to get to know you so that we can make the most appropriate matches of Befrienders and young people. We match volunteers on the basis that they are the best befriender for an individual young person in terms of abilities, experience and personal qualities. Secondly, we will seek the match for each volunteer which best addresses their interests, motivations and aspirations. We also provide ongoing training on topics relating to befriending and young people.
Volunteer Glasgow views befriending as the provision of support to a young person through the partnership of a Volunteer Befriender and YPBS. The best results are achieved when Befrienders and Support Workers communicate openly and frequently and when a match is reviewed and planned in a structured way.
Expenses for travel and activities can be claimed and an initial float is supplied so that you are not out of pocket.
Befrienders are supported throughout their volunteering:
monthly meetings with a designated Support Worker will review the match, discuss the young person’s progress, provide feedback on befriending and plan befriending for the following weeks.
quarterly Support Events enable Befrienders to meet as a group to exchange ideas, discuss difficulties
phone and email support allows issues to be addressed quickly as well as keeping the Befriender up to date on any change in circumstance for the young person
access to a range of policies and guidelines to provide answers to the questions which will arise on for example Child Protection, Confidentiality, Matching. Note indicating that policies can be viewed here.
If you would are interested in finding out more, are able to make a commitment to a befriending match with a young person who will need your support then we would be delighted to talk to you. You can contact us
0141 226 3431
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.” — Sarah is matched with a girl aged 8
“The support function was critical for me at the beginning of my match. I would text, email or phone my support worker before or after every visit with anything that popped into my head which ranged from ridiculous ‘what ifs’ to more pertinent questions about dealing with various situations that arose during a visit. For every question I got an answer or the reassurance I needed and all without ever being made to feel a pest. The support meetings also allow you the chance to discuss anything you want from the past months visits and as I’ve grown into the ROLE (is that the right word?) these are now the main form of support I use. Although I no longer have to contact my support worker on a weekly basis it’s still good to know they are there if I need them.” Ross is matched with a boy aged 10
“I have always had an interest in working with young people and when the opportunity came up, I went for it. Becoming a befriender has been very exciting and fulfilling, not only are you helping someone who is at a disadvantage within society but also getting to see them develop and grow by providing your time and commitment. During my time as a befriender I have developed a strong relationship with my young person and encouraged him to participate in activities he would not have done before resulting in him building on his self esteem and confidence. This is what motivates me to keep doing what I am doing with him as it also builds on my own self esteem.” Sam is matched with a boy aged 12
“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.” — Duncan is matched with a 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.” — Diane is matched with a girl aged 11.
Get in touch if you would like to be involved. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0141 226 3431
The first step will be to meet with a member of the team and have a chat about the service and how you might get involved. This is currently done over Zoom. We will complete an application for Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) membership so have handy your birth certificate, passport or driving licence, something official with your National Insurance number on it and 2 pieces of correspondence which evidence your home address eg utility bill, bank statement. If any of these items is difficult to obtain have a chat about alternatives with our Support Worker. We will ask you about criminal convictions – these won’t necessarily debar you from becoming a befriender – it depends on how old they are and how relevant they are. If you’re not sure whether you ought to disclose convictions have a look at https://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/news/index.htm for information about the recent change in the legislation. We will also ask for 2 people we can contact for a reference – if you’re not sure about who you should nominate, again have a chat with our Support Worker.
The stage after that is the training – each session covers a different aspect of befriending so it is essential that you are able to attend all the sessions. We have young people living in SouthWest, NorthEast and NorthWest Glasgow who are waiting for a befriender.