We are now accepting referrals for a Distance Befriending Service. This service is primarily in response to Covid-19 and aims to provide temporary and time-limited support to adults with a physical disability who have been more affected by isolation during this time. This service will be best suited to those who are comfortable communicating by telephone or voice/video app. While some clients may be able to meet their Befrienders in person in the future, this is not something we can guarantee.
Who can benefit from the service?
Ecas Befriending Service provides support to isolated, physically disabled adults 18+, living in Edinburgh. Find out more about eligibility for Ecas services.
By isolated we mean people who are not currently receiving support to attend classes, access their community or participate in leisure activities or whose social life is limited due to their impairment. An example may be: limited or no visits from family or circle of friends.
Am I ready for befriending?
You may not be ready for befriending if:
- Your day-to-day life is too disorganised to allow for regular meetings
- Your living conditions are not safe and clean enough for visitors
- Your basic needs are not being fully met, such as personal care
- You are experiencing other difficulties that may prevent you from concentrating on getting on with someone
We are happy to talk about any of these issues and, if needed, point you in the direction of others who can help.
How long will it take?
We aim to:
- Let you know that we have received your referral within a few days
- Contact you directly within one month to arrange a time to carry out an assessment
After the assessment, if you fit our criteria and are still keen to have a Befriender you will be added to our waiting list.
We are dependent on the volunteers we have, so the waiting time varies from weeks to months. However we also consider these factors:
- Degree of isolation – if you are more isolated, you are higher priority
- Availability of a suitable match – we do our best to match the you with someone we think you’ll get on with
Get consent and keep us updated
If you are making a referral on behalf of a client, friend or family member, please ensure that they have given their consent for you to do so.
Following any referral, please keep us informed of any changes in circumstances or details. This helps us to ensure that our service is still relevant and that we can make contact easily.
Ecas welcomes feedback, comments or suggestions on our Befriending service from all referrers at any time. To do so please contact the Befriending Manager on 0131 475 2344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.