Volunteer Befriender

What:   Volunteer Befriender

Where: At a public venue convenient to both client and volunteer

When:  2 hour per week

Resettlement and Tenancy Sustainment Services – focused on supporting people through their transition to independent living when moving out of homelessness and for the period of time required to help establish and sustain their tenancy. Service is delivered in a range of ways including regular home visits, appointments in the offices and public meeting places and ongoing telephone contact.

Volunteer Role Description: To provide a befriending service to people who have recently settled into a new home and community after a period of homelessness. The aim of the service is to reduce social isolation of clients by assisting them to have social contact, explore interests and integrate into appropriate activities.

Main tasks:

  1. Establish a professional befriending relationship with assigned clients of Cope Galway
  2. Meet with assigned clients as agreed with Named Support Worker
  3. Support clients in identifying and participating in activities/pastimes of interest to him/her
  4. Report to Project Leader after each meeting with client
  5. Attend and participate in quarterly group supervision and support with fellow Befrienders and Project Leader
  6. Adhere to role contract
  7. Participate in any evaluation of the Befriending Service
  8. Participate in all mandatory training of the Befriending Service
  9. Comply with relevant Cope Galway policies and procedures as outlined for example Confidentiality Policy, Child Protection Policy, Health and Safety
  10. Inform Project Leader of any issues of concern arising from befriending
  11. Work with a client-centred approach, encouraging autonomy and independence

Person specification:

  • Core competencies/skills required
    • Oral communication skills - ability to communicate effectively and to develop, foster and maintain positive relations with clients,
    • Listening skills
    • Conflict resolution skills
    • Ability to respond in a professional manner to challenging and stressful situations
    • A commitment to principles of diversity and inclusion
  • Experience of working with vulnerable adults desirable but not essential
  • Social Care Qualification desirable but not essential
  • Qualities
    • Friendly, enthusiastic manner
    • Ability to demonstrate respect and empathy to clients
    • Reliable and punctual

Time commitment: 1 hour per week - willing  to commit to 9 months


  • The opportunity to gain practical experience in this role
  • The opportunity to contribute to a local Galway charity and help us in our work


  • The volunteer conducts him/herself in a professional manner and maintains a respectful and courteous manner in dealing with clients
  • The volunteer will maintain confidentiality in respect of all matters which come to their knowledge in the course of the volunteer role

Recruitment process:

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