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Volunteer Befriending Scheme

Praxis Care operates a volunteer befriending scheme with over 100 matched friendships, some of which have lasted decades!

Volunteer befrienders help to:


Reduce the risk of suicide


Reduce the pressure on families


Minimise the feeling of isolation


Help alleviate poor health and the risk of hospital admission

Praxis Care also operates a volunteer befriending scheme for young people leaving care based in the Northern Health & Social Care Trust area. This scheme was set up as the Trust perceived there to be a lack of services specifically for young people who were in the process of leaving the care system.

Volunteers are recruited, given appropriate training and then ‘matched’. Volunteers see their Praxis Care friend approximately once a week mainly to be a listening ear, build confidence, reduce social isolation and raise self-esteem.

People with mental ill health, a learning disability or acquired brain injury find companionship through befriending. Their befriender visits because they want to and they are a volunteer rather than because they are paid to do so.

Praxis Care recruits, trains and supports volunteers on an ongoing basis and also facilitates the development of ‘peer’ relationships which is extremely important.

What is Befriending?

Befriending provides one to one support and companionship to people who are feeling isolated as a result of their mental ill health.

Befriending introduces volunteers to individuals who have been referred by Community Mental Health Teams, these ‘matched’ friendships go on to reduce feelings of isolation, provide a listening ear, build confidence and increase self-esteem.

Volunteer Befrienders get involved with everyday activities with their Praxis Care friend, things like:

  • Going for a walk
  • Meeting for a coffee
  • Going to the cinema or out shopping

Why should Volunteers get involved?

Volunteering is a two way relationship; the friendships built will have a lasting positive impact on both the volunteer, the friend and the wider social circle of both.

Anyone can get involved as a volunteer, giving a couple of hours to help reduce the social isolation faced by someone in the local community. This is a great way to make a difference, using and developing communication skills.

All volunteers will receive training and support as they develop their befriending relationship.

If you are interested in finding out more about Befriending with Praxis Care please contact our Volunteer Manager at or by calling +44 (0)7841 560 890.

This befriending scheme is funded by the Big
Lottery Fund as part of the Together for you
project. To find out more about other
services available visit
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