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What is Befriending?

The aim of our Befriending service is to provide a professional relationship that provides one-to-one support in the community for up to a year.

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 Client Referral Form below.

We currently provide 3 Befriending services:

Bournemouth and East Dorset Adult Befriending – This is for people aged 18+ who live in Bournemouth and East Dorset.
Dorset Adult Befriending – This is for people aged 18+ who live in North, South or West Dorset. 
Young Person Befriending Service – Young people aged 14 to 18 who live anywhere in Dorset.

How can I refer someone for Befriending support?

If you would like to make a referral, please download and complete the referral form below.  Make sure you include details of the member of staff who is working with the individual.

Dorset Mind Adult Befriending Client Referral Form.

The benefits of becoming a befriending volunteer

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.
We want to hear from you if you can commit to:

  • 2 hours a fortnight
  • 9 hours mandatory training (including safeguarding)
  • Three-monthly match reviews
  • Three-monthly peer-supervision
  • Being willing to gently challenge and support people towards achieving their goals

Click here for the Volunteer Application Form

Please return volunteer application forms to:
Volunteer Manager, Dorset Mind, 8 Stratfield Saye, 20-22 Wellington Road, Bournemouth, BH8 8JN or vie email:

For more information about any of our Befriending Services:
Bournemouth and East Dorset: Please email:
Young Person Befriending: Please email:
Rural Dorset Befriending Please email:

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