We’re delighted to announce that our Edinburgh befriending service has received the Quality in Befriending Award!

The Quality in Befriending Award is the only award in the UK which is specifically tailored for befriending services and is valued by referrers, befrienders, commissioners and funders.

Developed by Befriending Networks in consultation with member organisations and other experts in the field of befriending, it promotes Good Practice in the Sector.

What is the Move On Edinburgh befriending service?

We match volunteer befrienders with young people aged 16-25 who are making the transition from living in LinkLiving supported accommodation to managing their own tenancy and living independently.

Many of the young people we work with have been affected by homelessness, family breakdowns, mental health problems, neglect or drug and alcohol-related issues.

Befrienders and young people meet once a week to take part in activities (for example, meet in a cafe for hot chocolate, visit an art gallery, etc.).

The volunteer befriender and young person can meet weekly for up to six months.

What impact can I make as a befriender?

The emotional and social support a volunteer befriender provides can help a young person feel more comfortable and confident during what can be a difficult transition from supported accommodation to a private tenancy.

By supporting a young person to achieve personal goals and make connections in their local community, a befriender can also increase the chances of a young person living an independent and fulfilling life in the long-term.

There is also potential to encourage a young person to access education or employment opportunities.

One of our young people said:

“I felt really well supported. My befriender was a really good listener and always gave feedback if needed and chats as well as constructive help.”

Another young person said:

“Meeting my befriender has increased my confidence and I can go out on my own now.”

How our Edinburgh befriending service achieved the award

We completed a thorough application process to achieve the Quality in Befriending Award. The process included an extensive online application; review of many Move On policies; and interviews with a volunteer befriender and young person.

You can read more about the application process – including an application guide and indicator list – on the Befriending Networks website. The information provided will help you ensure your organisation is prepared to undertake the application process.

How do I become a befriender?

If you’re interested in volunteering with our Edinburgh befriending service, please contact Louise on louise@moveon.org.uk or 0131 558 3740.

We will provide quality training before you are matched with a young person, so you feel completely ready for your new role.

During the match, a dedicated member of Move On staff will be available to provide you and the young person with ongoing support.

Expenses will also be provided, so you’re not out-of-pocket for any activities, etc.

Find out more about becoming a befriender here.

How do I get a befriender?

Our Edinburgh befriending service is open to young people who have been supported by LinkLiving. If you are a young person and currently receive support from LinkLiving, please contact them for more information on how to be matched with one of our volunteer befrienders.