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Changes to support during the Covid-19 outbreak

Please note, Telephone befriending is continuing from this time until further notice. Face to face Befriending is slowly being restarted if Covid restrictions can be maintained and followed at all times.

We recognise that with so many people experiencing uncertain times, isolation, loss of income and contact with friends and family, we have a key role to play in helping them manage their mental health and wellbeing. We are doing everything we can to design new services to help as many people as we can.

We will contact our existing participants individually to let them know of this development and to explain the alternative options that we’ve put in place to continue supporting them.

Please email if you would like any more information.

If you need urgent or crisis support with your mental health, please follow this link.

What is Befriending?

The aim of our Befriending service is to provide a professional relationship that provides one-to-one support either via telephone or face-to-face in the community for a minimum of 6 months.

Befrienders help people develop positive mental wellbeing and reduce isolation. They leave people connected with their local community. Having the support of a befriender can also help people to reduce stigma and increase confidence and self-esteem by learning and experiencing new ways of coping and developing positive mental health.

Trained volunteers provide one-to-one support to promote social inclusion.  They support and encourage people to access their own community and create social opportunities. This helps increase their self confidence and social interactions.

Who can access our Befriending service?

  • Anyone who is aged 18+ and experiences mild to moderate Mental Wellbeing Challenges
  • People that would like support to develop positive mental wellbeing.
  • Anyone who is ready to take active steps to work towards recovery goals which will include reducing social-isolation, improving confidence and self-esteem.

People can be referred by any Professional using the Befriending Participant Referral Form below.

How can I refer someone for Befriending support?

If you would like to make a referral, please firstly read our Referral Criteria and Guidelines around the Befriending service to ensure your referral is suitable for the service:

Adult Befriending Service Referral Criteria and Guidelines

After reading the criteria and guidelines, you would still like to refer someone to our Befriending service, then please download and complete the referral form below and return to

Dorset Mind Adult Befriending Participant Referral Form.


Befriending Service Update

We are currently receiving a high number of referrals for our Befriending service, and as a result of this, the wait to access the service may be longer than usual.

Our waiting list is still open, so please continue to refer suitable participants and one of our team will be in touch as soon as they can.

Please note, there is no need to contact us once you have made the referral, a confirmation email will be sent to you. We will also contact you with regular updates on timescales.

Why not volunteer as a Befriender?

You can develop your skills and experience whilst supporting people experiencing mental or emotional wellbeing challenges. For many people befriending can be hugely rewarding as it provides the opportunity to ‘give back’. It can also be a stepping-stone to employment and or professional training.

All we ask for is a commitment of 2 hours per fortnight, for at least 6 months. For more details around volunteering with Dorset Mind, please head to our Volunteering page

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