Friendship Scheme Questions And Answers
Your Questions Answered
Q: How long will I have to wait for a Befriender?
A: We can’t be exactly sure. It can be weeks, but sometimes it might take a few months.
Q: How will the Coordinator find me a Befriender?
A: There are a number of things that the Co-ordinator will do. Such as:
Put up a poster around your local area
Contact organisations in your area who might know people who are involved in the kind of activities you like to do
Put articles about the Friendship Scheme in local newspapers or on local websites
Contact your local Volunteer Service
Go to meetings to give talks about the scheme
Q: Can I help to find volunteer Befrienders?
A: Yes, of course. It’s great if people can go with the Co-ordinator when she gives talks to groups of people about the scheme, who might want to become a Befriender. It’s really good if they can hear about the Scheme from someone who is part of it. You can also help by putting up posters and talking to friends and family about it.
Q: How do I know that my Befriender is a safe person to be with?
A: We put safeguards in place to make really sure the person you are linked with is a safe person for you to spend time with. We do these things:
Do a CRB police check
Collect two references (not from family members)
Ask the volunteer Befriender to complete a really detailed application form
Meet with and interview the volunteer Befriender
Regularly contact the volunteer Befriender, their family or carer and you to make sure everyone’s happy with things
Make sure you know you can talk to the Co-ordinator if you have any worries or concerns, no matter how small
Q: What will my Befriender be like?
A: The person who befriends you will be a person who:
Wants to spend time with you and enjoys your company
Understands your needs
Wants to support you to do the things you want to do
Enjoys doing the same things that you like to do
Q: Does the volunteer Befriender get paid?
A: No. They do receive expenses for things like travel, as agreed with the Co-ordinator
Q: Do I have to pay for myself when I go out with my volunteer Befriender?
A: Yes, you do. The Scheme only pays for your volunteer Befriender’s expenses
Q: How long can I have a volunteer Befriender for?
A: Many people have the same volunteer Befriender for a number of years. Other people don’t. Just like any friendship, no-one can say how long it will last. It depends on whether what you both want changes, or either of your circumstances change. If your friendship comes to an end, for whatever reason, both you and your volunteer Befriender will receive support and help from the Co-ordinator
Q: Do I stop meeting with the Co-ordinator once I get a volunteer Befriender?
A: No. The Co-ordinator will stay in contact with you for as long as you have a volunteer Befriender. The Co-ordinator will have regular review meetings with you – these let you talk about how things are going and make sure everything’s OK or if anything needs to change. You can contact the Co-ordinator at any time, either while you have a volunteer Befriender or while you are waiting for one