Mentoring and Befriending Foundation: Want to become a volunteer?

Want to become a volunteer?

Why get involved with volunteer mentoring or befriending?

Many projects in the UK are currently sustained by volunteer mentors or befrienders, each progeamme relies upon local support from people of all ages and community backgrounds.

The potential benefits to be gained from mentoring and befriending are wide ranging:
  • Improved skills such as communication
  • Increased self confidence
  • Satisfaction from helping another
  • An insight into issues facing people in other communities

Hear for yourself what volunteer mentors and befrienders have said about their experience:

"I have developed in confidence and my understanding of issues relating to older people.  I am now currently studying at university post graduate masters course"
Befriender, Community Resource Team-Befriending Scheme  

"Mentoring James* has taught me different ways to communicate, and different techniques to keep his attention.  Personally I have learnt more about anger management and ADHD, I have gained an appreciation of different lifestyles"
Mentor, Training Point-BASE 10

*name changed for privacy reasons

What makes a good volunteer mentor or befriender?

Volunteer mentors and befrienders range in age from 18 to 70+ (although in some cases they can be under 18), and possess a wide variety of life experiences and backgrounds.

You do not have to be a teacher, parent or counsellor to become a mentor or befriender.  People who have become mentors and befrienders include students, employed people, former refugees, unemployed people, ex-offenders and retired people.  Sometimes people who have worked with a mentor or befriender move on to becoming mentors or befrienders themselves.

All volunteers have a valuable contribution to make. It is very important to have a broad mix of mentors and befrienders, as individuals will respond to different mentors and befrienders.

How to volunteer?

Find yourself the perfect opportunity by simply searching the do-it database below.  All organisations included in the database are actively recruiting volunteers.   You can search for different kinds of volunteering opportunities, including mentoring and befriending, in your local area.  All you have to do is enter your town or postcode to find opportunities available near you.

Local Volunteer Centres also hold details of volunteering opportunities. You can find the Centre nearest to you on the Volunteering England website.

1. Enter your postcode (if you don't know it click here):
2. Choose the maximum distance you would want to travel:
3. Choose the sort of activity you would like to do:
4. Specify whether you want to see one-off opportunities or ongoing opportunities or both:
 

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If you wish to include your organisation or project, please contact your local volunteer bureau to register your volunteering opportunities.  A list of volunteer bureau can be found on Volunteering England's website www.volunteering.org.uk