Befriending: what it looks like

Meeting with the Focus Person weekly or fortnightly. Going at their pace to form relationship. Sharing common interests and activities. Encouraging the Focus Person to feel more confident in social skills and going out in their community.

Finding out more about the interests and activities the person likes to do – with emphasis on those with potential to make social connections. Getting to know what is going on locally; looking in community centres, libraries, church halls. Going with the person to these activities. Initiating conversations which include the person, supporting with social skills and building relationships.

Skills and personal qualities

  • Able to form positive, supportive relationships with others
  • Ability to listen and communicate appropriately with the person, to be comfortable with silences in conversations
  • Resilience to manage setbacks; to support the person to try again
  • Flexibility to attend activities with the Focus Person
  • Willingness to ask people in communities whether activities will be inclusive
  • Treat others with compassion and respect
  • Awareness of the challenges and barriers for people with learning disabilities or autism to feel socially included
  • Comfortable working on own initiative and common sense; but able to recognise when to reach out for support
  • Ability to manage boundaries; to be approachable without becoming a friend
  • Able to manage simple administration tasks; such as keeping manager informed of progress, hours spent volunteering

Personal values

  • Belief that social inclusion matters for everyone
  • Ability to accept people for who they are
  • Commitment to spending positive quality time with person
  • Belief that people can help each other

How we support you

  • Full Induction and other training as required
  • A handbook with guidance and tips for your volunteering role
  • Ongoing support with regular supervision sessions
  • All expenses reimbursed

How to apply

You can download the Volunteer Befriender application form in Word format here.

And our Equal Opportunities form can be downloaded here.

Please complete the form and email it to Alison Roy at

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Contact: Alison Roy