In 2013 we started a Befriending Service which today has grown to now over 70 volunteer befrienders across Forth Valley and North Lanarkshire. These befrienders are both men and women whose ages range from early 20s to 80+. Each befriender brings their own special mix of compassion, life experience and a willingness to give their time to support someone in their community.

Over the last 18 months the Community Development Team have been engaging with individuals living with long term conditions and their carers to find out what really matters to them as they approach the last year of life. People told us that they need support in many different ways, and that often they would prefer to have support from people in their own community rather than from professionals.

From our experience working in communities we have found that very often people have other people in their lives who would like to help them out, but do not know how or where to start. These people could be friends, family, neighbours, or people from community groups such as the church or the bowling club.

Over the next year we plan to try a new way of supporting people in communities to support each other and with funding from the Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, we plan to develop a group of volunteers who will be trained to facilitate Circles of Support.

A Circle of Support brings a small group of people together over a cup of tea and gives them the opportunity to find out what they can do to help their friend or neighbour. Each person in the circle does what they are able to do according to the time and resources they have available.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender, or would like to know more about Circles of Support please contact Susan High or Mandy Ross

We also have a choice of 2 training and information sessions available on Thursday 9th November.

Session 1 9.30am - 12noon (coffee from 9am)

Session 2 6pm - 8pm (sandwiches from 5.30)