“There are many strengths in modern society, but one of its weaknesses is the breakdown of many of the old structures and networks that supported people in times of crisis and need. Whenever we lose a strengthening element in society, we need to replace it with alternative systems as quickly as possible. Befriending schemes are a crucial part of this process, because they fill the gap that social erosion has left in the lives of so many vulnerable people.”
"Being there – human beings being human, listening,comforting, supporting, mentoring – is the first line of support for the individual in need. Across the country, in every sector and setting, I have seen the power of one-to-one relationships to make a difference to people’s lives and help them to solve their own problems. In fact, all our great challenges – drug rehabilitation, teenage vandalism and young offenders, troubled children in and coming out of care, the adult unemployed, the lonely pensioner – have one thing in common: that they need and can benefit from one-to-one care, attention and mentoring."
“It is the need of every single one of us, child or grownup, to feel wanted, to feel we belong and that we matter to someone else in the world. We all know, from our own experience, that feeling isolated from those around us, alienated from society, makes us sad, even angry. The deeper this isolation becomes, the more hurtful and resentful we feel and the more this is reflected in our behaviour. Such behaviour only leads to greater alienation. Children who from an early age feel alone and apart from the rest of the world, and there are so many of them, who become angry and hurt, have little chance of leading fulfilled lives. They are lost from the start. Above all, they need friendship, the solid warmth of someone who cares and goes on caring. With such lasting friendship, self worth and self confidence can flourish, and a child’s life can be altered forever.”
"One-to-one includes mentoring and befriending and all kinds of transformative relationships where knowledge and experience are shared with another person who is not a family member or close friend. Such relationships can unlock potential in us all, tackle need, build social capital and erode inequality."
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scottish charity number: SC023610
page updated: September 2012