Our friendship volunteers help to run friendship groups for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Edinburgh.

We also run a one-to-one befriending programme through which we match volunteers with New Scots to build friendship and offer support.

Current opportunities

We are currently recruiting volunteer one-to-one befrienders and friendship group volunteers.

Friendship group volunteers

We are looking for volunteers to help with our Conversation Cafe, Afghan Women’s Group and Women’s Conversation Space.

We are also specifically looking to recruit women who speak Dari or Farsi.

Download the role descriptions for more information.

Further information

Contact Gosia (Friendship Group Facilitator) for more information – [email protected]

One-to-one befrienders

Role purpose

The role of a Befriender is to share social and cultural activities with New Scots (refugees, asylum seekers and migrant), help them feel more comfortable in their new community and offer informal support with English language learning, on a one-to-one basis.

“I get a great deal of personal satisfaction from the befriending experience. I genuinely could not think of a more rewarding way to spend my Thursday lunch break as the family are so lovely and welcoming, and my New Scot friend always seems so grateful to see me!”

Volunteer befriender, 2022

Skills and qualities needed

Interest in supporting others, good listening and interpersonal skills, patience, reliability and flexibility, respect for other cultures, social and cultural interests that you can share with others, interest in developing your skills and reflecting on experiences.


Befriending pairs usually meet up on a weekly basis for a few hours. We ask befriending volunteers to commit to meeting up over a 9 month period though we hope that friendships will continue beyond this. We are particularly interested in hearing from people who are settled in Edinburgh and plan to be here long term.

Specific tasks

Tasks can include:

  • Arranging weekly meetings
  • Offering informal English language learning
  • Supporting New Scots in getting to know their local area
  • Providing information about the local area/community
  • Encouraging New Scots to join group activities at the Welcoming or elsewhere
  • Offering a supportive point of contact
  • Attending induction, ongoing training and peer support sessions with fellow volunteer befrienders

Support and Training

We provide induction and initial training, regular supervision, regular peer support meetings, and ad hoc training and personal development opportunities.

Further information

Contact Chiara Puppi (Befriending Programme Manager) for more information – [email protected], 07399882282.