The Volunteer Befrienders Program
Our purpose is to encourage people who have a previous experience of homelessness and who have a range of needs to participate in activities that will enhance social interaction, communication, motivation and self esteem.
Participation in a wide range of activities supported by a volunteer befriender and staff will assist in reducing re-offending behaviour, drug/alcohol misuse and returning to homelessness.
The Volunteer Befriender Project
This project aims to influence positive behavioural changes to enable participants to move from dependence to independence.
This will entail support for St Bart’s residents who have experienced homelessness for a number of reasons. All participants will have shown serious interest in making a positive change in their lives and will be involved in regular and intensive case management before being offered to a chance to participate in the Volunteer Befrienders Program.
St Bartholomew’s House currently offers basic support to Residents, which includes directing people to relevant agencies . This primary level of care means that people achieve some basic life skills that include maintaining their security of tenure with financial responsibility, gaining employment or entering training, improving their social networks and breaking the cycle of homelessness .
Building on this foundation, we offer more informal support and assistance that enables our skilled staff to engage with the participant in a more holistic manner. This is achieved forming groups of Residents to carry out practical tasks that help the local community. Activities include tending to the Cemetery gardens, assisting in Rotary functions and participating in activities such as soccer and basketball. These activities will not only give our Residents a positive focus, it helps them to work in a team, improve their communication skills and build self esteem.
Volunteer Befrienders offer informal assistance and support and encourages Residents to participate in joint or communal activities.
Volunteer Befrienders, who have been matched with a Resident by their common interests, participate in group activities and offer one to one interaction. This interaction takes place on a regular basis and includes a social or educational activity that the befriender and participant choose together. These interactions are designed to be fun and a positive learning experience.
We have developed a number of partnerships with community groups and agencies who offer our Residents sporting or work related activities.
If you have an hour or two per week to spare and just want to take one of our Residents out for a coffee and a chat or you have a bit more time to spare and want to get involved with the Volunteer Befrienders program, please complete the Volunteer Registration form We are completely flexible with times and can design a program to fit your availability.
This project was funded by the National Community Crime Prevention Programme, an Australian Government initiative
Donations are always welcome
Volunteer at St Bart's