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1 to 1 Befriender

Befriending is a great way to learn new skills, gain confidence and help someone who is lonely or socially isolated due to a physical disability. We welcome volunteers from all walks of life, including those with their own health issues. Once linked with a ‘Befriendee’, you would visit them regularly (usually on a weekly basis) to keep them company, sit and chat, play games or get them out and about. Trips out can involve simply going along to a café for a cup of tea or for longer trips.

About Ecas

Ecas is a voluntary organisation dedicated to giving friendly and practical help to physically disabled people. To achieve this Ecas does everything from running classes through to providing individual grants for holidays and equipment and supporting initiatives to bring greater freedom and independence to physically disabled people.

Experience Required

Able to listen and communicate well with befriendee, Ecas staff and members, including verbal and written communication. Able to relate well with client group. Reliable, punctual and professional. Honest and respectful. Able to have a non-judgemental, person-centred approach. Able to maintain boundaries.

Training Details

Following first contact, we will arrange an informal chat with the prospective volunteer to find out their situation, interests, motivations and availability. If both parties are happy to continue, the volunteer will be asked to come back in with a completed PVG form and information for two references. They will then be invited to two evenings of volunteer training, which also forms a part of the selection process. This covers disability awareness, boundaries, confidentiality and communication techniques. Ongoing support is provided by the service staff. Following the training, we will work with the volunteer on finding a good befriending match for them, which can start upon completion of the PVG process.

Flexibility & Commitment

Home-Based Volunteering;Flexible;Ad hoc

2 hours per week for 1 year.

Location/Travel Details

Ecas Office is based at Norton Park, 57 Albion Road, Edinburgh, EH7 5QY. A short walk from London Road or No 1/No 35 bus takes you down Easter Road to Bothwell street and cross the Cranford Bridge to Norton Park. Once linked with a Befriendee, however, time would mainly be spent in the locality of where the Befriendee lives (Edinburgh). Practicalities in travelling to visit a Befriendee are always taken into consideration during the 'matching' process. Ecas provides support for travel, including paying expenses.


Volunteers must complete an expenses form and provide evidence of expenditure. Expenses are reimbursed via BACS.

Accessibility Details

  • Support Workers Welcome
  • Disabled parking
  • Large print
  • Happy to have a conversation about volunteer’s needs
  • Smart technology (eg tablets)