South Ayrshire Befriending Project

South Ayrshire Befriending Project

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Local / community
  • Mental health
  • Physical disabilities
  • Poverty relief
  • Social care
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 


Established in 1996, the South Ayrshire Befriending Project (SABP) provides befriending support to approximately 60 socially isolated and disadvantaged young people aged 8 to 18 years living in South Ayrshire each year.

The main aim of befriending is to reduce the social isolation of the young people we support, increase their confidence and self-esteem and ensure they are included and feel valued. To do this we recruit, train and support adult volunteers, befrienders, to be matched on a one to one basis with young people referred to the project. Befrienders meet with the young person every fortnight for 2 to 3 hours to support and encourage them to take part in activities in the community. Befriending matches last from six months to two years and are led by the individual needs of the young person.  In addition to one to one befriending the project facilitates regular group outings for young people supported, offering a variety of recreational activities and educational/information sessions. We also facilitate a regular youth group which is run with the help of young people themselves.

We aim to achieve individual outcomes for the young people we support (e.g. reduction in isolation, increased confidence and resilience, improved well being) fitting well with the social policy goals set by both local and the Scottish Government.

SABP’s  team consists of three part time Co-ordinators and one Project Assistant who oversee the daily running of SABP. It is managed by a Management Committee of volunteers with different professional backgrounds and their own specific remit within the Project


SABP recruits and trains adult volunteers (aged 18+) from Ayrshire to support young people on a 1:1 basis. Volunteers are then matched for at least 6 months and up to a maximum of 2 years with a young person and are supported throughout by Project Co-ordinators.

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