Community Befriending Service

About the Service

Everyone needs other people, but not everyone has someone. For people whose injuries now require increasing hospital appointments or through reasons of bereavement of a spouse/ partner of family member have become more socially isolated ,for those who need help with transportation to centre/community events or just need a caring person to call with him, being matched with a befriender can help address many day to day needs
Whilst there are many strengths in modern society, 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.  Community Befriending is a crucial part of this process, because it can help address the social and practical difficulties the Troubles have left many facing.

The Ely Centre offers a community befriending service through a network of trained volunteers to civilians and security force personnel who have been bereaved or injured as a result of terrorism.

Potential Benefits

The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending can provide people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities which may leads to improved emotional well being.

Throughout Fermanagh and South Tyrone many who have suffered from the troubles live in rural areas and are not close to the main centres which could greatly benefit them, others are unable to attend meetings, classes  and some even experience difficulty in attending medical appointments for their injuries.

Befriending not only addresses emotional issues but also logistical problems. Through the provision of transport, The Ely Centre can offer more opportunities for members by bringing them to training and social events in the Ely Centre, GP appointments and hospital trips and also on days of remembrance helping them visit areas of personal and family  significance such as graveyards and memorials.

Our volunteers many of whom have suffered as a result of terrorism in Fermanagh and South Tyrone, know the effects which are members and their families experience and  bring another level of emotional support to those in need of help.

What Can You Expect from the Service


The Community Befriending  Service guarantees the privacy and confidentiality of our clients. All aspects of work with our befrienders are confidential with strict, ethical, professional befriending guidelines.
Professionalism  The Service is deliv ered by Voluntary Accredited Befrienders all of whom receive continuous training and supervision from the Ely Centre and The Victims and Survivors Service to ensure they are equipped the knowledge to deliver the most effective service.


Our team are compassionate and non-judgemental in their approach, they will listen ,understand and care for you throughout.

Become a Community Befriender

The Ely Centre is always on the lookout for new community befriending volunteers.

The people most suited to befriending are those who are interested in helping others who have suffered as a result of the troubles, they  are good listeners, are reliable, and have 1-2 hours to commit each week.
Often previous experience is not needed. It's more about who you are than what you've done. Befriending is a chance to give something as a volunteer through your time and commitment and every befriender has stories of what they get back in return.

Because befriending involves supporting someone who is isolated, projects assess volunteers carefully. The Ely Centre provides ILM accredited training to prepare you for the role.
Once you've been matched with a client the centre provides regular support, supervision and on-going training.

If you would like to refer to this service please drop into the centre, give us a call, or fill in the service referral form which should only take a few minutes.