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Our Services | Mental Health | Kirklees | Kirklees Befriending Service

Kirklees Befriending Service

Providing Companionship and Social Support to individuals who have Mental Health issues

Befriending Photo

What is a Befriender?

A Befriender assists an individual to take part in everyday activities alongside others and to provide social and emotional support. The befriending service provides people with the companionship of someone who is not obliged by professional commitment or family ties, but who chooses to spend time with them, without financial gain. This fact alone can build rapport, self esteem, confidence and motivation.

Befriending seeks to prevent isolation and loneliness for vulnerable people and help to bring meaning to peoples lives from a sense of belonging and inclusion, building self worth, personal aspiration and well-being.

Who is the Befriending Scheme for?

The Scheme is for adults (18 years plus) who live in the North Kirklees District, and are accessing mental health services at the time of referral

How can I access the Scheme?

To access the service a referral must be made from a professional source e.g.GP or Mental Health Support service.

A comprehensive assessment will be undertaken from one of the Scheme's co-ordinators; if the referral is accepted the service will be regularly monitored to make sure that it is still appropriate to meet the individual is need.

What will I do with my Befriender ?

The Befriender is a volunteer who will provide social support and companionship, depending on individual interest or aspirations; this could include a range of activities for example, going to the cinema, undertaking a physical activity, adult education classes or just meeting up for a chat over coffee. Contact, usually on a weekly basis, this will be negotiated at the time of introduction.

Are there any conditions of the Scheme?

Usually volunteers are matched up with the same gender as the Client (unless there are specific reasons not to do this). The Client has to be self funding and cover the cost of outings and travel.The Scheme cannot provide crisis interventions; appropriate channels must be activated in the event of a mental health crisis.Furthermore, the Scheme does not provide home care or personal care services, nor is it suitable for people with dementia or other related conditions.

Who co-ordinates the Scheme?

The scheme is co-ordinated by a dedicated team who reflect the diversity of the wider Kirklees community.

 Their co-ordinaters:

  • Recruit and induct volunteers
  • Support, supervise and provide training for the befriender
  • Assess Client referrals
  • Set up Client and Volunteer partnerships
  • Provide ongoing support
  • Liaise with referrers and other agencies

Contact Details

Manager:   Stephanie Elcock

Email:         stephanie.elcock@st-annes.org.uk