The Service

Befriending is a service that provides companionship to vulnerable people finding living in their community difficult. It offers the opportunity to develop new relationships and participate in social activities. Families Moving On provide a befriending service to all its members. At present we have 7 fully trained befrienders who visit befriendees in their home, meet them for coffee or assist them to doctor or hospital appointments. Befriending is a bespoke service and is keenly availed of by the members at Families Moving On.

Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to members who would otherwise would be socially isolated. The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens up a range of activities and leads to increased self-esteem and self-confidence. Befriending can also reduce the burden on other services which people may use inappropriately as they seek social contact.

What does befriending involve?

A befriender is a trained volunteer who offers their friendship - within agreed limits and boundaries - to someone who is isolated, lonely, or vulnerable.

Befriending at Families Moving On involves;

  • Maintaining confidentiality

  • Visiting you regularly in your home

  • Meeting you or accompanying you into at a coffee morning at FMO

  • Accompany you on an outing, an activity

  • Accompany you to a doctors or hospital appointment

There are a number of things in which befrienders are not allowed to do;

  • Cannot carry out tasks in your home

  • Cannot accept gifts or money

  • Cannot get involved in private family matters

  • Cannot look after children or elders if present


Befriending Coffee Mornings

Befriending coffee mornings take place fortnightly on Thursday and Saturday mornings from 10.30am upstairs at Families Moving On. A perfect reason to get yourself up and out in the mornings! Befrienders can assist and accompany befriendees to the coffee mornings, enjoy good company over a cup of tea and scone!

Counselling and Hospital Transportation Scheme

At present Families Moving On do not directly provide counselling but it is a service we are witnessing increasing demand for. We assist in referrals to organisations that provide counselling under the Victims and Survivors Service such as the Tara Centre Omagh and the Aisling Centre Enniskillen. If you would like to avail of counselling please contact Families Moving On.

Through the befriending scheme, Families Moving On provides a Hospital Transportation Scheme for all members. Our trained befrienders can collect you from your home, accompany you to your appointment and return you back home. Again we are seeing a demand for this service. Contact Families Moving On if you wish to avail of this service.

Training to become a befriender

Reaching Out is a comprehensive and accredited training programme for volunteer befrienders. The programme provides individual befrienders with the practical skills and knowledge needed to be effective and valuable companions. It is compulsory for befrienders to undergo a qualified training programme before they begin to volunteer. Befrienders are taken step by step through the following structure;

  • What is befriending?

  • Building relationships

  • Listening and communicating

  • Boundaries and confidentiality

  • Attitudes and values

  • Endings and exit strategies

  • Support for befrienders

  • Training also involves role plays, case studies, discussion and practical exercises.


Reward days are also provided for befrienders for their voluntary devotion and dedication to the service. If you are interested in becoming a trained befriender please contact Families Moving On. Befriender positions are voluntary. Support and travel expenses are provided.

How can I avail of this service?

Families Moving On have a dedicated befriending coordinator; Anne Rutledge, who has undergone befriending and befriending coordinator training. Anne receives external supervision and support whilst she provides her support to the other befrienders. Monthly meetings are arranged with other befrienders so the service can be discussed. Communication also takes place throughout the month.

If you would like a befriender to help or accompany you please contact;

Anne Rutledge on 07881985634

or alternatively contact Families Moving On were Maureen and Anita can assist you.