Celebrating 10 Years of Creating Connections with Befriending Week 2022

Space would like to join the Befriending Network in marking an incredible 10 years since the first Befriending Week took place back in 2012. Between the 1st and 7th of November we will be taking the time to recognise this occasion by sharing and celebrating the wonderful work that the Youth Befriending & Big Hearts Befriending teams carry out through the Broomhouse Hub. Look out for posts on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook pages this week for the latest news, interesting facts and figures, and stories from our befriending volunteers and service users.

What is befriending?

Befriending is a great way to offer a reliable support relationship to people who would otherwise experience social isolation. Trained volunteers are matched with someone in need of the befriending service, and they dedicate a space each week to spend some quality, enriching time together. These visits are vital in helping to tackle feelings of loneliness and the lingering effects of isolation. Befrienders are a valuable lifeline to people who may not otherwise have a great support network surrounding them.


“Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone”

– Befriending Networks

Our Befriending services are focused on supporting young people in particular, allowing them to embrace opportunities they may not otherwise have access to. The Youth Befriending Services team provides help for young people aged 5-16 years old in the South West of Edinburgh that have been affected by parental drug or alcohol use. The Big Hearts Befriending project operates city-wide and offers support to young people aged 5-16 years old that are in kinship care. Their work is carried out in partnership with the Big Hearts Community Trust.


How can befriending benefit me?

Befriending is something that holds an incredible amount of value to a younger person – a befriender can be there to offer guidance to someone who does not otherwise receive the support they need and deserve. However, this value goes both ways. A number of our volunteers have expressed how becoming a part of the befriending service has been worthwhile for them as well. In giving these young people an opportunity to try positive, social experiences, the befrienders benefit too.


“Since becoming a befriender I have been, overall, happier in my life. Doing something for others really is rewarding.”

– Volunteer Befriender

Befrienders are matched based on their shared interests with the young people that use our services – so if you enjoy go karting, watching the rugby at Murrayfield, or calming walks along the canal, you can share these much-loved activities with someone who enjoys them just as much as you. All activities and travel costs are paid for, ensuring that every befriending partnership is afforded the same experience.

We will be taking the time this week to celebrate all of the incredible, invaluable work that our befriending team carry out. If you feel you would like to get involved with befriending – helping to enrich the lives of young people in your local community – we would love to hear from you. No qualifications are required to become a befriender, only a compassion to help others and a commitment to providing support over an agreed time frame. All volunteers will receive adequate training prior to being matched with their “befriendee” young person. Reach out to us by phone on 0131 455 7731 or get in touch by email at youthbefriending@spacescot.org.