Project information

Children & Young People Befriending

We are a Scottish charity that works with children and young people, aged from 3 to 18 years old, whose lives are affected by HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C in Edinburgh. Our volunteer befrienders take their matches out on a regular basis to enjoy fun activities and take a break from their role as carer

this project is ongoing

Charity information: Positive Help

Positive Help logo
  • Need


    Positive Help works with children and young people whose lives are affected by HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV). Living with HIV positive parents puts enormous pressure on children. Parenting can be undermined by periods of illness, low energy levels, limited mobility and mental health issues such as agoraphobia. Parents often require hospitalisation leading to fragmentation of the family and periods in care, separation anxiety, insecurity and distress. Sadly, some children are also bereaved.


    Positive Help's befrienders give children affected by HIV/HCV an opportunity to escape chaotic, disadvantaged home lives and spend time with an adult who understands their situation. They are given the time to talk but also to forget the challenges of their day to day life and just have fun. Our befriending has a positive impact on the lives of these vulnerable children in far reaching ways – by improving confidence and communication skills as well as providing stability and a role model.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Raise the self-confidence and social skills of children and young people affected by HIV and HCV


    » Provide 24 children with befriending support and fun, educational and diverting outings on a fortnightly basis.
    » Give regular, consistent one to one attention by a befriender who understands their home situation.

    What success will look like

    Success will have 24 children going out on regular monthly or fortnightly befriending visits

    Aim 2

    Increase positive adult role models in the lives of children & young people living with HIV and HCV


    » Recruit a range of volunteers who have the right attitude and skills to act as positive role models.
    » Match volunteers with children and young people based on shared interests and complimentary personalities.
    » Mentor and support volunteers to be good role models and to facilitate positive change in a child’s life.

    What success will look like

    Success will offer a range of regular support and training opportunities to our volunteers

    Aim 3

    Increase the number of children & young people who benefit from relationships with befrienders


    » Recruit 3 new volunteer befrienders
    » Provide comprehensive training for 3 new befrienders through our 12 week training programme
    » Match 3 new volunteers with children and young people that need support

    What success will look like

    Success will recruit and train three new volunteer befrienders

  • Impact


    Befriending helps children gain in confidence, develop new skills and be with a positive role model all of which will contribute to their future opportunities in adulthood. Having a befriender will help these children overcome disadvantaged circumstances and seek opportunities in education and personal development. We will demonstrate the impact by recording feedback from our volunteers, the children they are matched with and their parents to measure changes in their lives over time.


    The biggest risks relate to the families lifestyles and the availability of volunteers. Chaotic lifestyles can make arranging trips difficult and hamper sustained development work. We have dealt with this risk by arranging fixed days and times for befriending trips to give stability to one aspect of the children’s lives. Rates of volunteer turnover are low but as many of our volunteers are students we have periods of low availability. We aim to recruit volunteers from wider range of sources.


    We like to involve donors in our work and report back on a regular basis. We aim to provide quarterly emails showing the impact of befriending with feedback from volunteers, children & young people and their parents .We also detail the number of children seen, the trips made and volunteers recruited

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £51,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £10,000 befriending trips expense of £40 on 250 trips out for 24 children disadvantaged through HIV/HCV
      £3,000 service delivery training programme for new and current volunteers
      £28,000 salaries one third of salaries of Volunteer Coordinator, Manager, Administrator and Fundaiser
      £10,000 core costs third of running costs such as rent, heat & light, IT, insurance etc

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Children in Need £25,000 Guaranteed
    The R S Mcdonald Trust £11,700 Guaranteed
    The Robertson Trust £10,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Positive Help operates in the Edinburgh area, we help children from 3 - 18 years old whose lives are affected by HIV and HCV. We support a vulnerable and disadvantaged population. Many of the families we work with have drug and alcohol dependency issues, large numbers live in areas of high social deprivation and many of our young clients are considered to be at risk of disadvantage and social exclusion. We have clients from a diverse range of communities including LBGT and Sub Saharan African


    Our project beneficiaries will be the children and young people we offer a befriending service to. Through our service we help these children to develop vital life skills and break free from cycles of poverty. Parents and carers of these children benefit from this service which helps to support them with the parental duties many struggle with. The wider communities which the children belong to, such as their school, also benefit from children being happier and more integrated and connected.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Positive Help has a 21 year history of providing a befriending service. We are the only charity that provides befriending to HIV and HCV affected children & young people in Edinburgh. Our volunteer training programme, mentorship and support structures provide our befrienders with the skills and confidence they need to be excellent role models to their matches. We have a great reputation for providing this service and have a waiting list of children wanting a befriender.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Volunteer Befriender - Ellie

    Ellie takes five year old African twin girls out to the park or the pool to enjoy everyday experiences lacking in their lives due to their Mum's HIV.

    Volunteer Befriender - Kim

    Kim takes a boy of six out to enjoy a range of active and sociable activities to improve his integration with other kids, due to an isolated home life

    Volunteer Befriender - Danielle

    Danielle gets together once a fortnight with a troubled HIV positive teenager who needs the time to share her problems with a sympathetic adult.

    Volunteer Coordinator - Lyndsay

    Lyndsay is skilled and experienced in volunteer recruitment, establishing and maintaining befriending matches and is a great volunteer motivator.