Befriending

Befriending

“I look forward to it and I always, always come away feeling better”

Support of unpaid carers

The role of a carer can be isolating and stressful. A Carers UK survey found that 8 in 10 carers feel lonely and anxious on a regular basis. Finding ways to cope with the demands of the role while getting respite can help to extend the time carers can manage with their loved ones at home.

The Eric Liddell Centre is indebted to its volunteer helpers who, by giving their time, are enriching the lives of others while gaining valuable skills and experience.

If you are able to give some time on a regular basis, whether that is weekly, fortnightly, monthly or even daily and you want to help us make a difference to people’s lives and circumstances, we would love to hear from you.

Carerbefriending

One-to-one companionship offering friendship and support

  • Q: Who is the service for?

    A: Any unpaid carers across Edinburgh.

  • Q: What does it involve?

    A: Matching you with a befriender who has similar interests to give you the opportunity to participate in activities of your choice.

  • Q: How can I access the service?

    A: This is a free service, please contact us directly

  • Q: How long does it last?

    A: The match usually lasts up to a year and each meeting (either weekly or fortnight) can last up to 2 hours.

How does it work?

Initially, we would ask you to complete a simple application form. We then meet you to find our your interests, life experiences and hobbies.

A range of interesting and fun training which clarifies roles and responsibilities will be provided.

If you would like to go ahead, we then carefully match you to a suitable befriendee who has similar interests which will enable a friendship to develop. We coordinate the first contact and continue to support the friendship throughout.

What commitment is expected?

Meetings are once a week or fortnight for a minimum of one hour. What happens during that time depends on what you both decide. You jointly make arrangements as to how often, when and where you meet. Whilst there is flexibility, becoming a Befriender is an important commitment therefore we ask that you commit to a minimum of 6 months before applying.

We offer training, continuous support, supervision with expenses being provided.

For further information please call 0131 357 1270 or email our Befriending Development Officer, Sally Sorrie at sorries@ericliddell.org

Service users’ comments

“This service is one of the best, helpful projects I have used as a carer”
“Having this friendship helped me get back to being ‘me’ again”
“It helped me emotionally to have someone to open up to”

Befriending Volunteer

A befriender is a volunteer who provides reliable one-to-one social contact, to help support and relieve the stresses of day-to-day life. Befriending helps carers feel less isolated by bringing companionship, a listening ear and by helping the discovery of new interests, offering the befriendee an opportunity to have fun, relax and enjoy themselves.

Our Befriending Service pairs carers with trained volunteers on a regular basis to provide companionship and a well needed break from their responsibilities. They are matched on interests and circumstances, so they have a good basis to build a positive relationship.

The feedback we get from carer’s about this programme is overwhelmingly positive. This service makes an impact on their lives and helps them to sustain the role of carer for longer.

We were able to help up to 500 carers last year.

A befriender is a volunteer who provides reliable one-to-one social contact, to help support and relieve the stresses of day-to-day life. Befriending helps carers feel less isolated by bringing companionship, a listening ear and by helping the discovery of new interests, offering you an opportunity to relax and enjoy yourself.