Stewart Stevenson backs Befriending Network

Stewart Stevenson MSP signing the pledge.
Stewart Stevenson MSP signing the pledge.

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson has signed up to back Befriending Networks at an event in Parliament this week.

The Befriending Networks offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to people who would otherwise be socially isolated. It has been shown that 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.

The network is an umbrella body supporting and representing 180+ members befriending services in Scotland. These services support people of all ages who are isolated for whatever reason, by recruiting, training, matching, deploying and supporting volunteer befrienders.

The Befriending Network is currently in the second year of a three-year funding cycle, from which they receive £40,000 a year in core funding from the Scottish Government.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said: “With an ageing population it is of utmost importance that we secure funding for the befriending sector and I’m pleased the Scottish Government is supporting this.

“Such a humanitarian effort also affords us budget benefits as befriending reduces the burden on other services which people may use inappropriately as they seek social contact.

“The Befriending Network particularly benefits younger and older people in our communities and I’m delighted to lend my support to the organisation and help promote the good work it carries out.”