Volunteer Befriending

Peer to peer support for parents in local areas

Family Lives receives funding from a number of Local Authorities and from the Department for Work and Pensions to deliver a volunteer-led befriending service to parents and carers in a number of sites across the UK. The service allows parents and carers to seek emotional support from local befrienders, whatever issues they may be facing.

In Waltham Forest and Leicester, we have been working with an Islamic relationship support organisation, the Barefoot Institute, to target the Muslim community, where there can be a reluctance to access support. The peer support model is particularly relevant to this community as it mirrors the prophetic model as demonstrated throughout the Prophetic tradition.

In Newcastle and North Tyneside we are working with grandparents and family (kinship) carers experiencing isolation and stress or who are having particular challenges with the children they are raising.

We also have projects in Gloucestershire, Nottingham, Southwark and Ealing.

For parents who are reluctant to seek support, using a peer led approach can help to normalise the process, removing the barrier which many people face when struggling to admit they need 'professional' support. Parents can access peer support in the interests of their child, without feeling they have to admit they need professional intervention into their private relationship.

Meet Sarah, Marion and Natasha as they talk about how befriending changed their lives:

If you are a commissioner interested in employing the befriending service in your local area, you can learn more about it here: