Befriending

Would you like to make a positive difference in another woman’s life?

Womankind is recruiting reliable and resilient women to join our Volunteer Befriending Service, able to commit to 2-3 daytime hours each week for one year. Befrienders encourage and support vulnerable women to become more independent, empowering them to make their own decisions, find new hobbies and get involved in their local community.

What Past Befrienders Say:

“Since volunteering with Womankind, I have felt a deeper connection to my sisters everywhere. Connecting with women and hearing their stories, and being able to support women through hard times is such a beautiful and valuable experience.”

“Of course, it’s a great feeling knowing that I’ve helped someone, but it’s amazing how much my befriendee is teaching me and the impact that it has on my life outside of volunteering.”

The training is comprehensive and considering the seriousness of the subject matter, enjoyable. I really loved meeting the other volunteers, it was such a wonderful feeling to be in a room with such fantastic, like-minded women.”

A truly worthwhile cause, befriending for Womankind is great because I can see the effects that I’m having with my befriendee for myself.”

To find out more how to apply and what is involved, please click below:

Upon the completion of training, each volunteer is matched with one women who has experienced childhood abuse, trauma, sexual violence and/or domestic abuse, and will be experiencing mental ill health and social isolation.

As a befriender you would be expected to commit to 2-3 hours on a weekly basis for one year and attend monthly group and individual supervision.

You and your befriendee would start by getting to know each other and gradually, getting out and about. As the relationship develops, you would support and empower her to make changes and develop her confidence in doing everyday things such as getting the bus, joining a class or finding a new hobby.

You would also support her emotionally, using active listening skills and providing her with the space to discuss the issues she is struggling with and be expected to demonstrate a healthy and boundaried relationship.

Please note, there is very limited availability for women who can only volunteer during the evenings and weekends.

Befrienders receive 3 in person sessions of comprehensive training over 3 Saturdays plus additional home study materials to read and watch between sessions. Our training comes with over 30 years of experience working in women’s mental health, giving volunteers the very best preparation for the role.

The training also introduces you to a support network of like-minded women!

We regularly offer additional opportunities for training throughout the year.

The next training commences in October, exact dates to be confirmed.

You don’t need much in the way of professional experience, as we provide comprehensive training. You will be enthusiastic and interested in helping another women improve her mental health and wellbeing, be honest and friendly with good communication skills, confident in social situations, non-judgmental, reliable, patient and a good listener.

The befriending role can be challenging and emotionally overwhelming at times, therefore we need befrienders who have adequate life experience and feel emotionally robust and resilient enough to take on the role. We welcome volunteers with personal experience of mental health and other relevant issues but will require you to have at least a one year period of stability and ideally to have received professional help like counselling in your recovery.

If you believe you are able to commit to this role, please complete and return both the application form AND the equalities monitoring form to nicola@womankindbristol.org.uk or post to:

Nicola Coggins, Womankind, 3rd Floor Brunswick Court, Brunswick Square, Bristol BS2 8PE

Click on the links below to download the forms.

Befriending Volunteer Application Form

Womankind Equalities Monitoring Form

Once we have received your application forms we will contact you to discuss the interview process. All information given on the forms will be treated in confidence. Please feel free to email us or ring us if you would like to discuss any aspect of the role

Telephone: 0345 458 2914 or 0117 9166461 (leave a message for Nicola)

Email: nicola@womankindbristol.org.uk

If you need any help filling out the application form, or need a paper copy, please get in touch via the same details

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