The befriending scheme in Shetland helps people aged 60+ who have limited social contact and support by matching them with a “befriender” or volunteer to spend time with.

Who is it for?

The befriending service is for anyone aged 60 or over, living at home, who feels isolated for any reason, or who has limited social contact and support. This might be someone who has had a significant loss or change in their life.

Social contact and relationships are important for good mental health, staying independent and building self esteem and confidence.

It can be difficult to learn to socialise again or meet new people after a loss or change in your life. Working with a befriender can make this easier and less daunting. Being involved in an active local community can be very rewarding and give you something to look forward to.

What happens?

You will be matched with a volunteer with similar interests who lives nearby and is available at the times that would suit you.

Meetings are weekly or fortnightly, they last from an hour up to a few hours and will continue for a minimum of 6 months.

Some activities that others have done include:

  • Going for a run in the car
  • Going out for lunch
  • Going to Sunday teas
  • Going to a concert
  • Going for a walk
  • Going to community events

How do I get a befriender?

If you think you could benefit from this service you can self refer by contacting the befriending scheme – if you are not comfortable contacting them yourself then family, a friend or a care professional can help you to refer.


Demand for befrienders always exceeds available volunteers but the service will try their best to find matches for everyone.  We would love to hear from anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in volunteering for the service.

Volunteers receive free training, activity and mileage costs and on-going support and supervision – get in touch to find out more.

How to contact

Find out more by contacting the Befriending scheme at Market House on 01595 743907, or email.

Befriending is on facebook, or you can find out more on their website.

Other Options

If you are not ready for this kind of service, but would enjoy speaking with someone over the phone you could call Silver Line on 0800 4 70 80 90 for friendship, support and advice.