Befriending Service

Our Befriending Team works with individuals who experience poor mental wellbeing and are socially isolated by giving them the opportunity to regularly meet with a volunteer befriender. The service has been reaccredited with the Quality in Befriending award at Excellence level from Befriending Networks. This highlights the continued dedication of the team in delivering a service of high quality and best practice.

Our volunteer befrienders are locally recruited and offer their free time to the befriending service. They must be 18 years or over and fulfill all of the requirements outlined in our bespoke volunteer recruitment and training program. Throughout their time working with our clients they are provided with ongoing support from the Service Manager.

Who can use the Befriending Service?

Adults over the age of 18 who are struggling with their mental health can access our befriending service. As the service operates in the local community, individuals must be able to leave their home independently.
They can be referred by any person working with them in a professional capacity.

What happens in Befriending?

Our service users can expect to be supported by a volunteer Befriender on a one to one basis to engage with activities within the local community. Befriending clients are supported to devise their own personal goal plan by identifying key outcomes that they wish to achieve as a result of befriending support. It is the role of Befrienders to help motivate the client to take progressive steps towards achieving these. Befriending support is available to people for 12 months.

Befriending during COVID-19

The Adult Befriending service has continued to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, contact was maintained with service users over the phone and via video call. The service provision has moved in line with government advice and we have now recommenced the provision of our face to face support. We plan to progress in line with government guidance and see the role of befrienders as being essential in supporting our clients to re-engage with the local community confidently and safely.

What befriendees say about the befriending service:

“The social contact with the befriender and being treated as a person not an illness was the most useful aspect of the support.”

“Befriending boosted my confidence and enabled me to be service-free for the first time.”

“I feel like I have taken a step forward in getting better. I feel that the befriending service has helped me with my depression and anxiety but mostly the social isolation.”

“She talks to me and listens to what I have to say.”


Action in Mind needs your support to make the places where you learn and study or the local communities and neighbourhoods where you live to become better informed about and understanding of mental health.  Together, we can make a real and positive difference to people’s lives by bringing an end to mental health stigma and discrimination by creating a pathway of positive mental wellbeing for everyone.

For more information about The Collective AiM and how you can become involved click Join Us, email or call 01786 451203 (office hours)

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