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Befriending – it’s a kind of Magic!

 

WHO ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

 

You are aged 18 and over.

You are reliable and can commit to 2-3hr long weekly visits with a young person.

You have a non-judgmental attitude and can respect diverse backgrounds, beliefs and lifestyles.

You have a genuine interest in young people’s well-being and personal development.

You are patient and possess active listening skills.

You have a sense of fun and want to engage in shared activities with a young person.

 

WHY VOLUNTEER AS A BEFRIENDER WITH US?

 

Personal Growth

You’ll gain hands-on experience valuable in the workplace and your life. Befriending a young person involves effective communication and active listening. Over time, you’ll likely enhance your communication skills, including the ability to convey ideas clearly, empathise with others, and resolve conflicts.

Training

You’ll complete our Foundation Training so that you know exactly what to expect from Volunteer Glasgow and what we expect from you.  The training prepares you for the befriending role, gives you the opportunity to ask questions and practise some of the skills you’ll be using.  Being matched with a young person is a considerable commitment, so we want you to be confident about making that commitment.

Become a Role Model

By acting as a positive role model, sharing insights and experience, and providing support, you can empower a young person to develop greater confidence, independence, and resilience.

Make Lasting Memories

Befriending isn’t just about giving; it’s also about receiving. The shared experiences, adventures, and milestones you’ll create together can lead to cherished memories that last a lifetime.

Quality of the Service and support

You’ll receive support every step of the way. We have maintained the Quality in Befriending Award at the Excellence level since 2016.

“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.

“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.

 

Are you ready to make a difference?

 

Contact us via phone or email to apply for the role:

 

0141 226 3431

befriending@volunteerglasgow.org

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

Who can become a Befriender?

We’re looking for adults 18 and over from all sections of the community who can commit to a match with a young person and our support requirements, who complete training and vetting and who feel that Volunteer Glasgow’s model of Befriending and Mentoring is a good fit for them.  You don’t need to have previous experience with children or young people.

How much time do I need to commit?

You should expect to see a young person once a week for around 2 to 3 hours, and a Support Worker once a month for around an hour.  If you can’t schedule weekly visits, please talk to us anyway – we’ve had very successful matches where visits are at a different frequency.  Befriending relationships sometimes take several months to develop, so you should see this as an investment in yourself.  If you have limited time to offer, please talk to us about what you can commit to.

Is there paperwork to complete? 

Yes, there always is, isn’t there!  The good news is that we complete the application form while we get to know you.  You would have to complete the Protection of Vulnerable Groups application, but we can help with that.  You can see information about the PVG Scheme here.

What about the cost of activities?

You’ll have a £10 budget to spend each visit on activities. It’s important that young people don’t have to feel obliged to you for paying for things, so we give you a float in advance. This way you have money for travel and activities and you’re never out of pocket.

Tell me more about the training.

Our Foundation training is designed to let you know all about the service so that you can make an informed decision about committing to a match and for us to be confident that all the adults we match up with young people are appropriate for the role. You would train along with other potential volunteers, so there’s the chance to learn from them and the questions they ask.  We do our best to accommodate all different learning styles and to make sure that the training is interactive.  We invite a current befriender to come along to one of the sessions to give you a chance to ask them questions and you get to hear about their experience.

We schedule training regularly and mix it up between daytime, evening and weekend programmes.  It’s currently delivered online via Teams but we hope to offer face-to-face training as well soon.

I’m not ready to commit – is there any other way I can help?

Yes, please!  If being matched isn’t for you, there are other ways to support us.  People have helped with activities, fundraising, and chatting with young people about different jobs and careers – talk to us about what you can offer.

Will I be supported in the role?

Yes, a monthly meeting with a Support Worker is as much a part of the role as the visits with a young person. There are other forms of support too, like Meet-up Events for current volunteers, additional training and our private Facebook group where befrienders can share experiences and exchange outing ideas.

Will I need to be PVG/Disclosure checked? Will I need to pay for it?

Yes, because this is Regulated Work, we need to do a PVG check but because it’s volunteering it’s paid for by the Scottish Government. When we’re arranging to talk to you for the 1st time, we’ll let you know what we need from you to do the check.

I have convictions – will this affect my application?

Only if they’re relevant to befriending.  We would assess this along with you and everything we know about you after training.  If you’re not sure whether you need to tell us about any convictions, please see the advice from Disclosure Scotland.

How long from when I apply until I get matched with a young person?

There are a few things that we need to do before we match volunteers like training, taking up references, getting a PVG check, ensuring that this is the right volunteering option for you just now.  We also need to talk to each volunteer about what kind of match is best for them.  Timescales vary a lot, but we have young people waiting, so we move things along as fast as we’re able to.

I work shifts so won’t be able to commit to one specific day, can I still apply?

Definitely!  Although consistency is really important in befriending it doesn’t mean it has to happen on the same day each week.  It just means that the young person knows what to expect.

Why do young people need a befriender?  Who refers them?

From time to time we all need someone who listens, someone who boosts our self-esteem and confidence, someone who likes and trusts us and is on our side.  Our young people may need someone to help them navigate their way from primary to secondary school or from adolescence to adulthood.  They may need the support of a positive adult to enjoy social activities.  Their circumstances might be affected by a disability or health issue or perhaps their family is coping with significant pressures or difficulty.  They need that One Good Adult to help build their resilience and reach their potential.  We operate an open referral system which means that anyone can refer – social worker, teacher, psychologist, parent or family member.

 


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