Befrienders Networking Session October 17th 2019

Pictured left to right -Janet Staton, Gloria Smith, Janet Hodgson

Above pictured left to right are Elin Harrison, Ann Lawton and Christine Tebbutt

We held another great networking session with over 35 people attending – a mixture of befrienders, befriendees, colleagues,TVA Trustees, staff and volunteers. It is always an enjoyable time when you bring people who love being with other people together in one room! On this occasion we needed to refresh ourselves on the issue of safeguarding and how it relates to the befriending roles. It was very helpful to be able to share some genuine examples and the discussion that followed was certainly a welcome one.

Back in February 2018 when we held our Befriending Review and one of the ‘Actions’ from that review was to research how we can measure the effectiveness of our scheme in order to bid successfully for funding. The research we have been working on in partnership with University of Surrey has now resulted in a literature review on methods and measures of befriending – which has been written for us by Dr Kimberley Smith and Shannon Glavey.

The Executive Summary of the research review is now available on our website Download Executive Summary if you would like a copy of the full report, then please do contact Lucy Darlow on 07796 307286 or email

On the same theme we discussed with befrienders this year’s survey which includes some new questions and in a new ‘form’ style. The comments and feedback was invaluable and we are now in the process of making changes before sending this all our befrienders. We try to keep the scheme as bureaucracy light as we can whilst making sure we can capture the richest picture of what goes on in our friendships – including even recorder classes in one case!

Brenda Huggill and her Befriender Steve Pollock

Future befriending networking sessions are booked for:

Tuesday February 4th , 10 – 1pm at St Johns, Hurst Green

Thursday 4th June, 12.30 – 3pm at Oxted Community Hall

Thank you to all who came, all who helped and our continued appreciation of the good people in this community.