What is befriending? 

The aim is to reduce the barriers that asylum seekers and refugees face when they come to the UK. 

Full Role Description

Volunteers will be matched with a refugee or asylum seeker. We match based on compatibility, not a first-come, first-serve system. This reflects our focus on quality matches over quantity of matches. Volunteers and participants will be heavily consulted throughout the matching process, and only where both choose to go ahead with a match will it proceed.


- Welcoming and receiving participants.

- Planning sessions and following protocols.

- Ensuring the safety of participants.

- Communication with the Coordinator and participant.

- Telling the Coordinator when and where you will meet for each befriending session.

- Completing a log of volunteering.


- You will need to attend an initial induction training and then a befriending specific training. Otherwise, the time commitment is very flexible and will meet your availability.

- Befriending matches last from 3-6 months as standard, but the availability of the volunteer is always taken into account, and no decisions are made arbitrarily.

- Befriending pairs typically meet once per week, for 1 hour per meeting.

- If agreed beforehand, the frequency of meetings may be less than this.


The location of the befriending will vary based on the particulars of the match and the interest of the volunteer and could span anywhere from local parks and green spaces, cafes and museums to music studios and the university campuses. The only place we do not meet is in the homes of the volunteer or participant. 

How you make a difference

Befriending is one of our core services and allows us to support a variety of people. For example, we use befriending to welcome new arrivals to the city and help them to build a support network and integrate into local systems; we can work with those in isolation to engage with new hobbies and interests or to offer single parents a chance to meet and talk once a week. 

The volunteers also help by being an ear to the ground and an advocate for the participant they work with to make the charity aware of their support needs.


Increased confidence.

Improved English.

Reduced isolation.