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.’
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- I meet Steven for a coffee and we discussed my problems and got them sorted out. He also helped me update my CV.
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.
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.
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.
I started with Move On in 2008 for peer education training – When I first started peer ed training I was a shy lassie that had no confidence or self-esteem I was homeless I wasn’t really interested in doing anything but through my journey on the peer ed I learned so much about myself and what I was good at.
Through doing the team building activities as much as they were a challenge for me at that time in my life it was the team building activities where I started to get some confidence and motivation to do things in my life and also when I went out to homeless accommodations to deliver workshops the good things about the workshops is that it’s a way of getting messages and helpful information out to young people and it is also a way to get folk connected and engaging in the workshops. The workshops were the biggest highlight for me because my confidence and self-esteem grew so much I couldn’t believe it myself. After peer ed I was still dropping in and out of Move On taking part in workshops and Friday activities where I was able to meet new people and also still see folk that I done my training with. I then went on to doing the Fareshare employability programme where I learned so much about doing my CVs, how to apply for jobs and also I had not really ever done anything like this before so it was all new. I had never had a job or been to college or had any other further education while still doing the training I saw a job with an organisation who works with young people in care I applied for the job had 2 interviews and then I was offered the job as a participation assistant. After being in my job I was then promoted to policy development assistant where a lot of my time was attending the Scottish Parliament talking about my experience of care and homelessness. I also got another job working with young homeless people. The reason I have shared that is because it was Move On that helped me be the person I am today. I am currently doing my SVQ 3 in health care and social care and I am now back at Move On doing my placement 2 days a week.