Case studies

The impact of befriending – two case studies

David (not his real name)

David is 43, born in Edinburgh.  David suffered abuse when he was a child and was moved into care in Glasgow at the age of 11. David found it very difficult and due to multiple attempts on his own life and criminal convictions, he was put in a secure unit. David was badly treated by the staff at the secure unit and when aged 16 he was transferred to a young offenders institute. David became addicted to drugs very early in his life. He started using glue and cannabis at 11/12 and then started using other drugs in his teenage years.

David got married in his early twenties and got a joint tenancy with his wife. David’s drug addiction and lifestyle continued for 18 years. He was regularly in and out of prison. When he was 39 he moved out of the house and into a private sector lease on his own. Due to time in prison, he lost this and ended up homeless and in temporary accommodation. David got help with a number of agencies including Sacro and Streetwork and started bidding for a new tenancy.

In his new tenancy, it was the first time David was stable on his methadone prescription and sustained period out of prison. David needed drug and mental health support. He also was looking to get out and about and to increase confidence to meet new people.

David was referred to Move On’s Befriending service and was matched with a trained volunteer. David really enjoyed meeting his befriender in the community and sitting down for a coffee. David benefited from the befriender’s relaxed approach and explained that the volunteer gave him the tools to cope with different aspects of his life. One example was to deal with a complaint from his neighbour. David gained confidence from the match times and started to look at different options for activities and support. David was sad that the match was only for 6 months but is looking forward to be receiving peer support from another organisation.

David stated that, ‘without the support from Move On, I don’t think I would have the confidence I have today.’


(supported by Move On’s befriending and visiting support services)

  1. I became homeless after losing my job at Boots and was kicked out of the flat I was sharing, as I  had no money to pay the rent.
  2. The help I got with Move On was to get help with furnishing and decorating my flat, it also helped me get grants to buy stuff for my flat.
  3. The activities with Move On helped me when I had problems with the benefits and helped me sort them out as I knew I had someone to help me through the hassle.
  4. I meet Steven for a coffee and we discussed my problems and got them sorted out. He also helped me update my CV.


Callum Finlay

Since joining Move On in 2011 Callum has completed Move On’s SQA-accredited Peer Education training (now called Youth and Community Skills) programme and he has been one of our most committed volunteer peer educators, achieving the ‘Ascent’ Saltire Award for over 500 hours volunteering!

With a background in foster care and experience of homelessness, Callum has really benefited from the support provided by Move On, which he describes as “10/10! … you get more support from Move On than anywhere else”. Through Move On, Callum has accessed volunteering and employment opportunities with the Care Inspectorate as a Young Inspector and he has volunteered as a youth worker leading a games club for young people in Leith. He said that Move On staff “understand your needs better and support you to get through whatever’s going on”. Through his commitment to personal development and to volunteering with young people across Edinburgh and Scotland, Callum’s confidence in social situations and ability to lead workshops has massively improved.

Callum is now leaving Move On and feels “ready for it”. He is optimistic about finding employment, maybe sessional youth work. Callum feels confident that he has support networks in place to help him with this and he also knows about the Job Centre and Citizens Advice Bureau if he needs that too. Callum has really appreciated the opportunity to try new things and work throughout Edinburgh and see places in Scotland, especially through the Care Inspectorate. The Highlands were a particular highlight!  Callum feels “gutted but good!” about leaving Move On – gutted because he will miss staff but good because it means moving on and he is feeling positive about that.

Callum receives his certificate from Kelly

Tommy’s story

After 30 years using drugs I arrived at Jericho House Rehab Unit, Greenock to work on my addiction issues. I’ve struggled to read and write all my life. This was because I was in the care of Social Work and didn’t receive any education when I was younger.

I left rehab after 14 months and came to live in Glasgow in supported accommodation.

I first came to Move On May 2012 to get help with my reading and writing difficulties. I struggled putting words and sentences together and needed help with spelling and punctuation. I attended weekly and received 1-to-1 support. I never missed an appointment and attended consistently, taking work home to do in my free time. While doing this I did voluntary work in a rehab unit.

I had a long-term goal to attend college and achieve my SVQ3 in Social Care and get full time employment.

With continued support from Linda I began to feel confident enough to apply for jobs and started F/T work as a Support Worker in Oct 13. Since then I’ve continued to attend and receive help and recently completed my SVQ3 in Social Care in July 15. I continue to do voluntary work in rehab and also deliver my own support group “The Voice Within”.

Once I was honest with myself about my literacy difficulties and took steps to improve it my world opened up to learning.

I’ve made good friends with staff over the years and I’m always made welcome. With their continued support and encouragement my dreams are now reality.

Tommy and Linda

Natasha Iregbu

I started at Move On as two workers came to my high school to deliver a peer education workshop. They were also recruiting new peer educators to be trained to deliver workshops. I was looking to gain experience of working with young people in an informal setting as I was wanting to later work with young offenders this then changed to doing youth and community work. I was also hoping to meet new people from different backgrounds and make new friends with people who shared a common interest in homelessness/volunteering/working with young people.

I completed Move On’s Peer Education programme in Edinburgh in 2014. Since then, education-wise I graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in July with a 2:1 BA (Hons) Criminology degree. I also began working with The Broomhouse Centre last June in the young carers project as a youth worker.

I had completed my Initi-8 Basic Youth Worker Training in April and had been volunteering in Granton Youth Centre so it gave me the experience needed to get a paid sessional youth worker job.

I began my postgraduate diploma in community education in September and I Have now passed this and I’m due to graduate in July 2015. As part of my course I was on placement at Health in Mind and I’ve organised and will be running a drop in social group for 65+ year olds in Colinton, and I have been managing two older volunteers who are helping me. I started working as a youth volunteer worker in January at Granton Youth Centre until April, so far I have supported youth volunteers to organise and deliver two projects, this has helped me to gain employment at Granton Youth Centre as the new Volunteer Development Worker.

Also, from gaining the diploma I felt I was able to apply for a post at Move On after previously volunteering with them. In August 2015 I was employed as a Development Worker, which I was delighted about! I am now able to give something back after receiving support from them while volunteering in the organisation.


Charlene McKellar

– I started move on when I was living in a hostel accommodation and the reason I came to move on was because I was bored with nothing to do sitting about hostels getting in with the wrong crowd. I thought that if I didn’t do something and stop wasting my life sitting about doing nothing as this was detrimental to my personal wellbeing. I then came across the move on flyer and got in touch with them in 2009, Through Move On I applied to do a number of education and training opportunities like peer education, care Inspectorate and trained to be a young care Inspector. I also completed the fareshare employability programme and all of this increased my confidence and self-esteem and gave me the ability to come out of my comfort zone. I absolutely enjoyed my experience doing these variety of courses. Through doing all the course move selected me to go and do the Columba 1400 inner bound programme after participating in this course I went and applied for a job and got it and it moved me into another part of my journey I loved working with move on and they helped me to get the foundation and to believe in myself and that I that a can achieve things in life by this I mean giving me confidence self-esteem and also a keyworker who helped and supported me through anything I was facing in my life. This all helped me to get into employment and I was doing 2 jobs and it felt amazing actually being paid to do the work instead of the volunteering.
– I love volunteering because it lets you see what the jobs are like and if these jobs are for you. I also volunteered for move on so giving something back to them and helping other people in education and training I was delivering the group works sessions which increased my basic skills for work. Move on is a worthwhile course to do and an amazing organisation to be involved in. It’s like one big family once you are involved with the service there’s no going back but in a good way. I’ve went away for nearly 2 years when a came back they were there to help me and gave me a place to come back to as Move On have an open door policy which means no matter what you can always come back. I love move on as it has helped me with my training and education and supported me when I had a bad day. I’ve currently just came back to move on and again they are helping me to get back into training and education am absolutely thankful for the services move on has giving me past and current.

Charlene with Commonwealth baton
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