Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children and Young Person’s volunteer befriender – Glasgow

Aberlour, funded through the social innovation fund working in partnership with the University of Stirling Centre for Child Wellbeing and Protection and piloting a new bespoke befriending service. This new service offers a flexible, relationship-based service to help support unaccompanied asylum seeking children overcome difficulties with social isolation; loneliness; orientation; language; culture and integration.

The Aberlour Vision

At Aberlour, we believe that all children deserve to flourish. We listen: Our services are tailored to help each child or young person be the very best they can be. We support them to overcome significant challenges and we offer support at the earliest opportunity: Giving children the best possible start in life is at the heart of everything we do.

Our vision is to transform the lives of the children and families we work with and, through this, contribute to building a fairer and more equal society.

Can you be a volunteer befriender?

We are looking for volunteer befrienders to support unaccompanied asylum seeking children across Glasgow. The age of unaccompanied children on arrival in Scotland is around 12-17 years old so befrienders will be supporting mainly teenagers. Building social networks and social integration are a crucial part for young peoples’ successful transition to their new country and a volunteer can help support this, by developing trusting positive relationships, being a social support to them and helping with community integration. As a volunteer, you would have the satisfaction of supporting a young person in need, increasing your own confidence, enhancing your skills and experience – all the while having fun along the way!

What will I be doing as a Befriender?

  • Direct one-to-one befriending with a child or young person
  • Building a positive relationship based on trust and mutual respect
  • Helping with orientation: learning about their new community, transport links, cultural norms
  • Providing support to access and take part in social activities and opportunities within their local area
  • Building on their conversational language skills
  • To motivate and encourage them to make positive choices in their lives
  • Listening to them by valuing and respecting their feelings, views and opinions
  • Where required taking an active part in reviews and evaluations.

What skills can I bring to this role?

  • A knowledge of some of the issues affecting care experienced / separated children and young people
  • Awareness of how young people can be affected by trauma
  • Ability to encourage and motivate children and young people
  • Ability to work well with children and young people in a supportive way
  • Good listening and communication skills
  • Ability to relate to children and young people and to be able to see things from their point of view
  • Patience and understanding
  • Experience of building confidence and self-esteem

What qualities do I need?

  • A non-judgemental, empathic approach to children / young people
  • Good sense of cultural awareness
  • Positivity and enthusiasm
  • Commitment and reliability with good time management
  • To be approachable, patient and understanding
  • To be honest and trustworthy
  • To be caring and compassionate
  • To have a commitment to treat all information in a confidential manner

When will I be needed?

  • Days, evenings or weekends
  • Each meeting lasts for approximately 2 – 4 hours
  • Visits will be weekly/fortnightly depending on the needs of the child/young person
  • Minimum commitment of 6 – 12 months is required
  • One hour every 6 – 8 weeks for supervision with ongoing support throughout the match


Scottish Guardianship Service, Glasgow

What will I gain from the role?

  • High quality befriending training, child protection and role specific training
  • A sense of satisfaction in helping children and young people in challenging circumstances achieve their full potential
  • Practical experience of working with children and young people
  • Experience to get back into the workplace or education or to change career path
  • This type of volunteering is not for everyone – it needs a real commitment of time and energy but offers real rewards in terms of making a positive difference in the life of a child / young person

What support will I be given?

  • Full induction training
  • Child protection training
  • Role specific training for unaccompanied asylum seeking children/young people
  • Expenses – all out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed
  • Ongoing support and supervision from your volunteer coordinator
  • Recognition events and volunteer socials throughout the year

Additional Information

Due to Health and Safety requirements you must be at least 18 years of age to undertake this volunteering role.

For all roles involving regulated work with children and/or protected adults, Aberlour will require the applicant to submit a PVG Scheme Record or a PVG Scheme Record Update application. This opportunity is subject to the completion of satisfactory references and successful registration on the PVG Scheme.

Contact Details

If you would like to be a befriender and really make a difference please contact us below, we would love to hear from you.

Volunteering Team

Telephone: 0141 260 9180

Email: volunteering@aberlour.org.uk

Website: www.aberlour.org.uk/volunteer


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