About BefriendingBefriending another person gives them the opportunity to develop skills, gain in self confidence and try new activities, supported by someone who has a genuine interest in them and their well-being. The befriender also can benefit by doing something worthwhile and usually finds satisfaction in seeing the difference that can be made by investing some time and attention in another person.
Who will be befriended?
Young people are usually referred to the project by social workers who see befriending as part of a young person's care plan. However guidance teachers and educational psychologists have also used COVEY befriending services. The careers service, youth groups, community police, citizen's advice bureaux and community education are also aware of the service.
Young people will be accepted for the waiting list on submission of a referral form and when at least two of the following indicators of vulnerability are present:
There is no doubt that befriending makes a difference in the life of a young person, however it is sometimes difficult to quantify the difference that befriending can make.
Over the years that COVEY volunteers have been befriending there have been the spectacular stories of young people gaining in confidence to such a degree that they can find employment or move into education. There is also evidence that if a vulnerable young person has a supportive, consistent and reliable adult in their lives when things are difficult all around them they will be much better able to cope later in life.
The existence of a supportive relationship has been what has helped some of our young people gain the confidence to keep going to school, take a new pride in their appearance and try new activities on their own. Their behaviour improves in the family and in the community and it has been reported that 'befriending is the only good thing that is happening in their life at the moment'.
how to become a befriender