The Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales has been facilitating the Befriending Service since June 2016, prior to this it was facilitated by the Psychology Department, University Hospital Wales Cardiff and supported by the WKPA.
In July 2019 we held a meeting to review the name of the service. The question we asked our current Befriending Team was:
Does the term Befriending accurately describe the service?
We provided them with the following descriptions:
What is Befriending?
Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. Around the UK, there are befriending projects which organise effective support for children and young people, families, people with mental ill-health, people with learning disabilities and older people, amongst many others.
The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities and leads to increased self-esteem and self-confidence. Befriending can also reduce the burden on other services which people may use inappropriately as they seek social contact.
Peer-to-Peer Support, which is described as:
Peer support is distinct from other forms of social support in that the source of support is a peer, a person who is similar in fundamental ways to the recipient of the support; their relationship is one of equality. A peer is in a position to offer support by virtue of relevant experience: he or she has “been there, done that” and can relate to others who are now in a similar situation. Trained peer support workers such as peer support specialists and peer counsellors receive special training and are required to obtain continuing education Units, like clinical staff.
From the above definitions it was clear that the Befriending Service actual provides Peer Support and that Befriending actually means being a friend to someone who needs support not necessarily someone who has been through the same experience as them.
The service will be renamed the Paul Popham Fund Peer Support Services. The volunteers will be called Peer Mentors.
For further information please contact the Paul Popham Fund, Renal Support Wales.