Befriending Scheme

Supporting adults aged 18-65





People who have experienced mental health issues are frequently isolated in the community. As well as suffering mental and emotional distress, they are often without friends and family support.

Imagine not having anyone at all who cares for you, or about you. People in this situation lose confidence in their ability to manage everyday life, and feel anxious and lonely. Although they may have support from professional agencies, what they lack is an ordinary friend - someone who can help them re-build a life in the community. Hillingdon Mind’s Befriending Scheme offers vulnerable people a Befriender: someone who can give them the support they need.

What does Befriending involve?

Anyone wanting a Befriender defines his or her own needs, so your role as a Befriender varies considerably. It might involve going out together and sharing social activities, or you might be needed as a good listener, offering company and encouragement. Every befriending relationship is unique.

What kind of person becomes a Hillingdon Mind Befriender?

You don’t need personal experience of mental or emotional distress to be a Befriender, although this can be helpful. You do need to be reliable, patient, trustworthy and caring. You may be interested in Befriending as a way of developing your skills and experience in voluntary work or thinking about working in a caring profession.

How do I find out more about Befriending?

Please contact the Befriending Scheme Co-ordinator, Aurora DaSilva, for an informal discussion, or ring the Hillingdon Mind office.



Could You Be a Hillingdon Mind Befriender?

After meeting us, you would attend a free preparatory training course. The training looks at befriending in more depth, giving you skills and confidence to befriend effectively.

When you’ve completed the training and are accepted onto the scheme, you will be matched with your “Friend”. Great care is taken in matching to ensure both people feel comfortable.

Usually you would see your “Friend” once a week for a couple of hours in the daytime or evening, depending on your other commitments. This would be for an agreed length of time, usually 12 months. However, shorter term befriending is also needed. You can of
course claim expenses for your voluntary work.

You will continue to receive ongoing support from us and from other Befrienders by attending monthly meetings. Through ongoing training you can continue to develop your skills and experience.

If you are interested in becoming a befriender then all you need to do is print this linked form, fill it out and send it back to us. The return address is listed at the bottom of the form. We look forward to receiving your application and would like to thank you in advance for your support.

Befriending Referral

People who need to use this service must be referred to Hillingdon Mind using the form below. Please also check the associated information below before filling in the referral form.

Befriending Scheme Referral Information
The Referral Form can be downloaded here, or can be completed online here

Please contact us if you would like any further information.

Evelyn Cecil
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