» Big Hearts Befrienders

Big Hearts Befrienders

Creating memories for a child

Every child should get the chance to laugh, play and socialise regularly, whatever challenges they face at school or at home.

Volunteer Big Hearts Befrienders help create memories for young people, by taking part in fun activities.

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Who are the Volunteer Befrienders?
Men and women of all ages and backgrounds, who are interested in using a bit of their time to provide support to a young person and help them build their confidence and self-esteem.

Who are the Young People?
Children between 5 and 16 years old who need some extra support due to difficult circumstances. This can include past trauma, anxiety, loneliness or difficulties with school.

What does Volunteering involve?
As a volunteer, you will be matched with a young person who has similar interests to yours and get the freedom to find social and fun activities to do together once a week, for example attending a football game, going to the cinema, swimming or walking along the canal.

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What is Befriending?
Befriending is when a person builds a one-to-one trusted relationship with someone who is in need of some extra support. It’s about making a positive difference to someone else’s life.

What is the impact of Befriending?
Befriending usually lasts for a 12-month period to see the changes appear in the child: they become more chatty, do better at school and seem more open to trying new things. Volunteers say that it is a rewarding experience because you develop new skills whilst directly improving a young person’s life.

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Can anyone become a Befriender?
Whether or not you have children or qualifications working with young people, you can become a Befriender. If you are reliable, understanding, able to maintain confidentiality and comfortable in engaging with children facing disadvantages then we’d love to hear from you. Please note that volunteering with young people is subject to a disclosure check.

What do I get from volunteering?
You will first receive training from our experienced charity team to answer any of your questions. As a Volunteer Befriender you will receive a monthly budget for your activities, get travel expenses paid and access some group outings with other befrienders. Other perks include invitations to social events by Big Hearts, the official Heart of Midlothian FC charity.

I’m interested, what should I do?
Please email jane@bighearts.org.uk to arrange a wee chat. Thanks!

Want to help? Apply below.