Welcome We provide a volunteer befriending service for socially isolated children, young people and adults with learning disabilities across the Scottish Borders. We create and support 1:1 friendships and social groups which improve members’ happiness, confidence, self-esteem and social skills and provide short breaks for their carers. We are open to anyone aged over 8 with learning disabilities, including  children and young people with complex needs or autism.  Our service is free apart from small contributions to activity and travel costs. Our volunteers are young & old and drawn from all walks of life, and we are always looking for new befrienders. If you (or someone you care for or know) would like to use the service or volunteer, please use the links above to explore the site, and we look forward to hearing from you. Lockdown Lowdown We changed our service from 100% face to face to 100% distance befriending within two weeks of lockdown being imposed.  Our members’ learning disabilities make remote communication difficult, but the friendships and bonds built up over the years have been strong enough to overcome this and our service under lockdown is as vibrant and varied as it has ever been. Social media, streaming and videocalls are very popular but traditional posted newsletters and activities have been just as important, particularly where there is a lack of devices and connections. With other forms of respite not available, distraction activities and fun things for the whole family have been crucial. We are now looking forward to restoring face to face contact while keeping the best of our virtual world. Many of our members are clinically vulnerable and have difficulty with social distancing and mask wearing: this means their journey out of lockdown and their return to school, college, day centre and respite services will be slow, and the caring pressure on families will remain high. As a result our transition is likely to be slow and gradual, maintaining home support while meeting people’s keenness to see each other in the flesh again wherever we can. The first step is introducing 1:1 meetings outdoors. We have guidelines to enable this from July, and they will be updated frequently.  As well as our existing 1:1 links we have made 1:1 links between group members and volunteers so the maximum number can benefit. Group meetings outdoors or inside pose more of a challenge, but we hope to start some activity by September. See our Evaluation & Resources page and our public facebook and instagram pages for more. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your local Branch Co-ordinator and we look forward to the resumption of normal service as soon as possible. For easy-read infiormation, please see Use our Service. We also have an Easyread Information Sheet about COVID-19
Welcome We provide a volunteer befriending service for socially isolated children, young people and adults with learning disabilities across the Scottish Borders. We create and support 1:1 friendships and social groups which improve members’ happiness, confidence, self-esteem and social skills and provide short breaks for their carers. We are open to anyone aged over 8 with learning disabilities, including  children and young people with complex needs or autism.  Our service is free apart from small contributions to activity and travel costs. Our volunteers are young & old and drawn from all walks of life, and we are always looking for new befrienders. If you (or someone you care for or know) would like to use the service or volunteer, please use the links above to explore the site, and we look forward to hearing from you. Lockdown Lowdown We changed our service from 100% face to face to 100% distance befriending within two weeks of lockdown being imposed.  Our members’ learning disabilities make remote communication difficult, but the friendships and bonds built up over the years have been strong enough to overcome this and our service under lockdown is as vibrant and varied as it has ever been. Social media, streaming and videocalls are very popular but traditional posted newsletters and activities have been just as important, particularly where there is a lack of devices and connections. With other forms of respite not available, distraction activities and fun things for the whole family have been crucial. We are now looking forward to restoring face to face contact while keeping the best of our virtual world. Many of our members are clinically vulnerable and have difficulty with social distancing and mask wearing: this means their journey out of lockdown and their return to school, college, day centre and respite services will be slow, and the caring pressure on families will remain high. As a result our transition is likely to be slow and gradual, maintaining home support while meeting people’s keenness to see each other in the flesh again wherever we can. The first step is introducing 1:1 meetings outdoors. We have guidelines to enable this from July, and they will be updated frequently.  As well as our existing 1:1 links we have made 1:1 links between group members and volunteers so the maximum number can benefit. Group meetings outdoors or inside pose more of a challenge, but we hope to start some activity by September. See our Evaluation & Resources page and our public facebook and instagram pages for more. If you have any questions, please get in touch with your local Branch Co-ordinator  and we look forward to the resumption of normal service as soon as possible. For easy-read infiormation, please see Use our Service. We also have an Easyread Information Sheet about COVID-19