Befriend a Child, is celebrating its befriending programme having been recognised with Befriending Networks’ sought-after Excellence Award. The nationally recognised accreditation award acknowledges the very best practice in befriending services.

The assessment covered all areas of Befriend a Child’s befriending programme, highlighting excellence in service delivery, staff management, evaluating impact and the journey of both the young people in the service and volunteers.

Angus Maclean, Quality Office, Befriending Networks Scotland said: “Congratulations to Befriend a Child in achieving Quality in Befriending Excellence in 2023. This is a recognition of their fantastic befriending services. Working directly with children and the families in their community, there is now a focus on mental health and neglect, as well as additional support to families in need.”

Befriend a Child’s established befriending programme supports over 200 children and 210 volunteers each year. Children are referred to the service from professional sources for reasons such as a lack of confidence, increased social isolation and lack of a positive adult role model in their life. Children are matched with a volunteer befriender who takes them out on fun, social and recreational outings every fortnight.

Through befriending, volunteers help children and young people build confidence and self-esteem as well as develop new life interests and skills. In time this can have a transformational effect and allow the child to deal positively with their challenges and help them to realise their potential.

Jean Gordon, Head of Operations said: “We are delighted to have received the Quality in Befriending Excellence Award. It highlights what an exceptional job we are doing for the children and young people we support and the excellent contribution the team and volunteers are making to our local community”.

Sarah Misra, CEO at Befriend a Child, added: “I am so proud of our team for achieving this fantastic accolade. We hope that the Excellence Award will be a draw for people to join our programme as volunteer befrienders to enable us to reduce our current waitlist of local children in desperate need of our support”