New research shows the Value of Befriending

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network is launching the findings of new research into the value and impact of voluntary befriending services.

The report, Befriending in Derbyshire, which was launched on 1 November to mark the start of Befriending Week, found that:

  • Loneliness and isolation do not just make people unhappy – it also has a serious impact on physical and mental health and life expectancy.
  • Those who receive support from Befriending Services say that it reduces isolation and improves their social and community connections, independence, and wellbeing.
  • Over 1,100 lonely and isolated people across Derbyshire benefit from over 70,000 hours befriending support given by 765 volunteers from 28 befriending services – if they were all paid for the time they give, this would cost £762,000.
  • For every £1 spent on providing volunteering the social benefits and cost savings to other services are worth £8.59.

Kerrie Fletcher, Community Development Manager of South Derbyshire CVS who commissioned the research said “I know that befrienders all over Derbyshire make a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of people who would otherwise be alone. This report evidences that in black and white – and helps us make the financial case for investment in these amazing services.”

Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network, run by South Derbyshire CVS is a network of befriending services for adults across Derbyshire. It exists to make sure that isolated and vulnerable adults who could benefit from befriending support are able to do so, and that people who use befriending services can be confident that they are safe and well run.  More information at derbyshirebefriending.org.ukThe network publishes a Directory of Befriending Services in Derbyshire which can be downloaded from https://www.derbyshirebefriending.org.uk/files/Befriending_Services_Directory_Sept_2017_Final.pdf.

The ‘Value and Impact of Befriending in Derbyshire’ Report is available from the Derbyshire Trusted Befriending Network Team: befriending@sdcvs.org.uk; Tel 01283 219761.