Skip to main content

Be part of Bethany’s befriending service in Edinburgh.

We are offering free befriending training for Christians from local churches to support those who are at risk of homelessness in Edinburgh.

The session takes place over one evening and the team will deliver inspirational and practical guidance on how you can get involved to befriend people back into the community in Edinburgh.

Together we can share God’s love in action by befriending people back into the community.

Sign up today


What is befriending with Passing the Baton?

A Passing the Baton befriender is a volunteer from a local church who helps a befriendee who is at risk of homelessness, or has been affected by homelessness in the past, to connect to their local community and engage in social activities.

The befriending takes place out-with the home, such as going for a walk and meeting in cafes. However, the main focus is in connecting into community activities. The befriending is time-limited, lasting up to a year, with befrienders connecting with their befriendee once a week or fortnightly.

Why befriend?

People volunteer for all sorts of reasons: to give back, to make a difference, to learn new skills, to connect with their local community. Many people Bethany support have come through difficult life experiences and we see the positive impact that befriending can have on those who are feeling lonely and isolated as well as the personal benefit for the volunteer. Befriending is also a really positive partnership between the local churches, equipping the Church to engage in their community.

How are you introduced as a Befriender to the Befriendee?

The Passing the Baton facilitators introduce the befriender to the befriendee at either the Bethany office or in a café near to the befriendee’s home. As this is an Edinburgh specific project, we need to consider how far befrienders want to travel to meet with their befriendee. Careful consideration is also made when matching a befriender to a befriendee.

We always match male to male and female to female, including those who are identifying as that gender. We also explore with the befriendee what they are looking for in a befriender to make sure it feels a safe match.

How often would I meet with them and what are the kind of things I would do with them?

Ideally we would encourage the befriender to meet the befriendee weekly for 1-2 hours, or if this is not possible then fortnightly. Anything less may hinder the building of the relationship.

Befriendees often enjoy meeting for coffee, going for walks and connecting into group/activities. The main focus of the befriending is to help build up confidence and to support individuals to make new connections into their local area

Do we go into their home?

Befriending is about connecting someone into their community. The befriender can meet the befriendee outside their home but we ask them not to go inside.

What support do I get as a befriender?

Our Passing the Baton facilitators are always on hand to support volunteers every step of the befriending journey. We provide comprehensive training to equip volunteers before they are matched with a befriendee, as well as training workshops and social opportunities with other befrienders throughout the year.

How do I book?

If this sounds like something you would be interested in learning more about, we would love for you to book your free space by registering at Eventbrite today:

Sign up today