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.
Remote befrienders receive 4 taught sessions of comprehensive training over Zoom. There will be pre-reading materials to complete before each session. Our training comes with over 30 years of experience working in women’s mental health, giving volunteers the very best preparation for the role, and a support network of like-minded women.
Upon the completion of training, each volunteer is matched with one woman 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 1-2 hours on a weekly basis for 6 months and attend monthly group and individual supervision. Many of our volunteers decide they would like to be matched with another woman after the completion of their first match and continue volunteering with us for another 6 months.
You and your befriendee would start by getting to know each other gradually. Once you have built up your relationship, you would support her emotionally, using active listening skills and providing her with a space to express her feelings and feel heard. You would help her to believe that she can achieve her goals and have safer relationships. Part of your role would be demonstrating what a healthy and boundaried relationship looks like.
You will be enthusiastic and interested in helping another woman improve her mental health and wellbeing so that she can lead a more fulfilling life. You will be friendly and non-judgemental, have good communication skills and be a reliable and patient listener.
The befriending role can be challenging and emotionally demanding 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.
As this is a remote service, we welcome applications from women who are based across the UK.
What Past Remote Befrienders Say:
“I loved the training, that was possibly one of my favourite things about this whole experience…it was really thorough. I loved being in a space with like-minded women – and it was also challenging, which I liked.”
“In terms of supervision and knowledge, how to prepare the role – it was much more prepared, much more in depth than other places I’ve volunteered.”
“It’s been a pleasure, I love volunteering with you guys. It’s special being part of this – in a world where there are so few spaces where you can have a direct impact on someone’s life, doing this role is really special.”