Me and my befriender: exploring adult/child befriending relationships
Organised befriending provides supportive, reliable relationships through volunteers to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. In the UK, for example, befriending projects provide services to a range of people at risk of social isolation including those with mental ill-health, people with disabilities, older people, refugees, families and children. In children’s projects, befrienders generally meet with individual children (occasionally siblings groups) on a weekly basis and engage them in leisure activities. In the UK befriending projects are generally small charities operating on a year by year basis, with few staff and shoestring budgets. Many projects are affiliated to umbrella organisations such as befriending networks.