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Befriending Opportunities

Looking for a volunteering opportunity?

Our volunteer befrienders get a lot of satisfaction and happiness from what they do. They enjoy making a difference to people’s lives and meeting new friends.

Ecas is a long-established Edinburgh charity supporting people with physical disabilities. We are a small, friendly organisation and offer our volunteers training and lots of support.

If you'd like to find out more about volunteering in Edinburgh as a befriender, contact Ally or Sam on 0131 475 2344 or befriendingmanager@ecas-edinburgh.org

You can also read our summary page, visit our gallery or read Jen's experience of her first year of befriending.

Below you will find some current examples of people in Edinburgh we'd like to find a befriender for.

Related staff

Volunteer Opportunities

Rock Guitar, Motorbikes, Art, Tattoos Befriender
Do you want to help a man who has had dark days in the past but now wants to make a friend, develop his hobbies and interests and play his guitar?
His leg was amputated in 2011 and since then he has lost mobility and also confidence. He likes classic rock such as Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Clash. He is good at drawing and sketching, and designed his own tattoos. He is a movie buff, and has around 3,000 DVDs. He particularly likes horror, thriller and action movies, also box sets such as Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. His favourite TV shows are Superbikes, Formula 1, Top Gear and comedy shows. If you would like to help him make more of his life we would love to hear from you. He lives in Gorgie, about 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Engineering, Electronics Befriender
Would you like to meet a man who wants to chat, go to museums, the Botanic Gardens, electronics shops? He likes to watch Star Trek, also likes anything to do with engineering or steam, petrol or diesel engines. He also likes to watch documentaries, particularly science ones.
He used to work as an engineer, but now has had two strokes and also has some painful arthritis. He’s therefore a full-time wheelchair user, though as it is a powered one he can get around and use public transport with help. His stroke sometimes affects his language, so he occasionally talks loudly or swears, but it’s simply part of his condition. If you would like to help him and reduce his isolation we would love to hear from you. He lives in Kingsknowe, about 35 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Coffee, Chat, Getting Out and About Befriender
Would you like to help a man become more active and get out and about after a stroke. He used to be a skilled joiner, and ran his own business with his partner. He can no longer do this, but would like to take up as many of his old hobbies as he can. These include model making, especially train sets, gardening and music.
He lives with his partner and two children, but his social contact is very limited and he would greatly benefit from going out, maybe for a cup of coffee and a chat, or further afield to the Botanics. He used to speak fluent English but since his stroke he has reverted to mainly speaking Polish, so it’s important that you speak Polish. If you would like to help him we would be happy to hear from you. He stays in the Grassmarket, 15 minutes’ walk from Edinburgh city centre.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Quiet Chat, Cup of Tea Befriender
Do you want to meet a man who would like someone to talk to, and to get out and about – maybe over to Leith, for a cup of tea, or maybe to a museum or art gallery, or to the Botanics?
He is restricted by his breathing difficulties, and has to use oxygen, including taking a tank with him when he goes out – which has to be in a wheelchair as he is too weak to walk any distance unaided. He has a friend who visits him, but he is not in good health and will have to stop. He likes to watch TV, all the soaps, NCIS and American dramas. He likes all kinds of Country and Western music, and is a quiet person. If you would like to help him to get some regular social contact and to lighten his mood, we would love to hear from you. He lives in Portobello, about 35 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Conversation, Trips Out, Making the Day Shorter Befriender
We’re looking for someone who would like to meet a woman who needs conversation and encouragement/help to go out for trips to the Garden Centre, for example. She used to like gardening but can’t do it any more.
Before she developed her condition she worked in Social Care, but now movement can be painful and difficult for her. She has a dry sense of humour, and likes watching CSI, Criminal Minds and documentaries on TV. She listens to 80s music on the radio, and likes contemporary ballet. She is a smoker, and though she keeps the window open and has an ioniser she’d prefer to see someone who didn’t mind smoking. If you’d like to meet her to chat or go out, we’d love to hear from you. She stays in Piershill, about 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Films and Going Out Befriender
We are looking for a befriender who is patient and motivational, to help a man to pursue his interests in films and music CDs, and also to go out to places such as Mary King’s Close or John Knox House.
He spends a lot of time sitting in his room smoking, and needs some encouragement to go out. He describes himself as easy-going and happy-go-lucky, sometimes up and sometimes down. If you would like to help lift his mood and broaden his horizons, we would like to hear from you. He lives in Craigmillar, about 25 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Company, Confidence, History Befriender
Would you like to visit a man who would benefit from some company, and also help him gain more confidence in going out? Moving is difficult and painful for him, and he spends a lot of his time in his flat drawing and making military models.
He describes himself as easy going, open and honest. He likes watching factual programmes on TV, for example history and nature, and also likes war films. If you can give him some company and some confidence we’d like to hear from you. He lives in Saughton, about half an hour by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on befriendingmanager@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Guitars and Golf Befriender
Before his stroke in 2013 this man ran his own motor spares business. One of his hobbies was playing the guitar – particularly blues, but other styles too.
He particularly likes Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He also was a keen golfer. He’s not a big film-goer, but he enjoyed John Wick. His condition affects his balance, speech and co-ordination – he uses a wheelchair in the house, and can stand up briefly. He hopes to get an electric wheelchair which will affect his ability to get around. He describes himself as determined, driven and a bit stubborn! Though he lives with his partner, she is out at work all day and he would really benefit from some company and communication. If you could help him we would really like to hear from you. He stays in Liberton, about 40 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Good Sense of Humour, Cars, Confidence Befriender
Are you a creative communicator with a good sense of humour?
Then you might be interested in helping this man to gain the independence to choose what he wants to do. He was very active and able till he had a stroke in 2013, but now uses a wheelchair to get around and has communication difficulties. He is a sociable man and his friends occasionally drop in to see him, but he is often “taken out” rather than deciding what to do himself. He worked for many years at the Scotsman newspaper, then became a voluntary director with St Columba’s Hospice. He used to read, though can’t do that now. He’d like someone who could read to him, or help with the crossword., He likes rugby, cars and motor sports, Top Gear, Morse, CSI. If you’d like to help him get out and do some of the things he likes, please get in touch. He stays in Juniper Green, about half an hour by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Chat, Shopping, Live Music Befriender
Would you like to help someone who likes chatting and shopping?
She also loves live music and the cinema, and would love the chance to get out to a gig or to see a film. Her condition makes her weak and unsteady on her feet, so she cannot go out on her own. As she doesn’t often get out she has become quite isolated, so she also misses being able to have a cup of tea and a good chat with someone. If you can share some of her interests you could make a big difference to her life. She lives in Dalmeny, about 40 minutes by public transport from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Getting to Know Someone Befriender
We are looking for someone who would like to visit a man who would enjoy getting to know someone, and maybe an occasional trip to the shops.
Before he became disabled he worked with the railway, keeping stations clean and tidy. He now has a manual wheelchair but can’t self-propel, so is restricted in what he can do. He enjoys chatting, watching films, and listening to music. He used to be a DJ in his younger years, and has always been a really big fan of the singer Lena Zavaroni. He watches TV, and particularly likes Film 4. He’s also a Hibs fan. If you would like to give him some company, and occasionally go out with him, we would love to hear from you. He stays in Granton, about 25 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.