Pathways to Wellbeing

by The No.1 Befriending Agency in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Pathways to Wellbeing

£1,606

raised so far

68

supporters

To support socially isolated and lonely people to be connected, improve mental and physical health and wellbeing through befriending.

by The No.1 Befriending Agency in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Thank you so much for your help so far! Thanks to our crowd we have managed to not only reach our original target of £1000 but also reach our £1500 stretch target ! As a result we have been able to set a new stretch target of £1750.

Reaching this stretch target would mean we would be able to continue our wellbeing events project for even longer than we originally anticipated. This would make even more of a difference to the lives of the lonely and isolated people we support. 


About the No.1 Befriending Agency

We are a vibrant Community Interest Company, based in Glasgow, that works to reduce loneliness and isolation. Being a CIC means that we are not established or conducted for private gain and any surplus or assets are used principally for the benefit of the community. We do this by providing a free befriending service to older people in the community as a way for them to create connections with others in order to live happy, healthy lives. We match the people referred to our service with one of our befriending volunteers for regular chats and activities. We also support people to get connected via telephone and group befriending online as well as offering virtual events. Much like the fictional namesake ‘The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency’ (who “navigates her cases with wisdom, good humour, and the occasional cup of tea”), we seek to alleviate loneliness and isolation through the power of a cup of tea and a good blether. 

The Problem of Loneliness & Covid-19  

According to Age Scotland, 100,000 older people in Scotland reportedly feel lonely all or most of the time, and 200,000 will go half a week without a visit or call from anyone. The negative effects of loneliness and isolation among older people are increasingly recognised in society. Loneliness is said to be as dangerous to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day!

Unfortunately, the ongoing Covid-19 Pandemic is only making the need greater. Research carried out by The Mental Health Foundation throughout the pandemic found that as many as one in four adults (24%) in Scotland have felt lonely because of coronavirus.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, we offered face-to-face befriending and in-person ‘Cup of Friendship’ events for our service users to share a cuppa and a blether. Since the start of the pandemic we have had to shift focus towards our telephone befriending and virtual events to ensure the safety of both our volunteers and their befriendees.

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Throughout the pandemic, the service-users we support are experiencing even more exclusion from social relationships, have limited or no access to information and have no opportunity to participate in activities. Even before the lockdown, many of them had very little interaction with anyone other than their family members who may not live nearby.  As a result, they would rarely be able to socialise with other people unless they received befriending services.

How Crowdfunding Will Help - Pathways to Wellbeing

As restrictions start to ease we would like to begin to organise at a local venue to encourage people to get out in a safe manner. For these events, we would like to use a different format than our ‘Cup of Friendship' events by focusing on specific themes for each event. These would include therapeutic gardening, picnics with music, etc. The aim of these events would be to help promote healthy eating on a budget, improved wellbeing and mental health.

We hope that by empowering our befriendees and building their confidence at a time when they are vulnerable and in fear of going out and about, we will alleviate their loneliness and improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

The money raised from this Pathways to Wellbeing campaign will help provide the following: 

  • Materials for online taster sessions for the people we support. This will help us consult on the type of wellbeing activities that would be of interest to them.
  • Resources to hold outdoor, in-person wellbeing sessions on a regular basis.
  • Transportation (where required) to and from the events.
  • Volunteer expenses throughout the project. 

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The Impact You Will Make

We would like to share some quotes from our befriendees in order to convey the impact befriending can have on the life of a lonely and isolated adult.

“If George wasnae phoning me, I wouldn’t be talking to anyone.” - Betty

“[Having a befriender] just helps me cope with life and certainly the lockdown. Makes me feel like I’m still alive, that I’m a person, that I matter.” - Karen

“I am looking forward to Rachel’s phone calls. She is lovely. She is great! I can tell her anything and she always cheers me up. She listens to me and I feel I can tell her anything. She is the only one who genuinely thinks about me.” - Margaret 

A Message to Our Supporters 

Any contribution you can make to our work would be greatly appreciated. The money you give will make a real difference to the lives of our befriendees. 

Thank you! 

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