Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project receives prestigious ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award

Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project has been presented with the prestigious ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award.

Elaine Murray, Leader of the Council, handed over the accolade at their office in Bank Street, Dumfries. Volunteer befrienders and trustees, staff and supporters of the charity collected the award.

It recognises the management support and professionalism of the structures and systems that support the 84 volunteers who all help to provide the vital support service throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

The project is an early intervention service aimed at enriching the lives and wellbeing of vulnerable young people, aged eight to 18, at difficult periods in their lives. They may be experiencing challenges at home, in school or in the community and the project offers them the opportunity of extra support and regular, positive adult attention.

This is achieved through one-to-one befriending of a young person by an adult volunteer who will enjoy fun activities, help build social networks and offer a range of coping strategies.

Allana Fotheringham, Investing in Volunteers Manager for Scotland, said: “I am pleased to congratulate Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project on their achievement of the Investing in Volunteers award, achieving this award acknowledges commitment to its volunteers and to improving and developing its volunteer programme. The Project has demonstrated this through evidencing good practice in relation to volunteer management – meeting all nine indicators and 46 practices.

“The most important part of the IiV process is hearing about the volunteers’ experience and ensuring the volunteers voice is heard. Volunteers spoke positively about their volunteer experience with DGBP; “they (young persons) get so much from the experience, and their enjoyment of it adds to my enjoyment” and “we are trusted to have a lot of autonomy in our roles, which is great recognition for what we are trying to achieve.

“Investing in Volunteers [IiV] is a UK award with a unique focus on volunteering. To become an IiV Achiever, an organisation needs to demonstrate their commitment to their volunteers and be able to evidence high quality volunteer management in practice. It needs the support of everyone from volunteers to Board members and staff. Volunteer Scotland is delighted to be able to include Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project on the list of Achievers”.

Alex Dickson, Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project Manager, added: “We are delighted to have been successful in our IiV application which confirms that our early intervention service is fully compliant with best practice in relation to how we develop, support and manage our most vital resource, our volunteer befrienders.

“It was felt important to fully test ourselves and ensure we were investing in our volunteers and supporting them in the best possible way. As an organisation which aims to make a positive impact in so many young people’s lives, it is important we take every opportunity to learn and improve where we can. My thanks goes out to each and every volunteer befriender, the Board of trustees and all the staff for helping D&G Befriending Project achieve such a prestigious award.”

Katy Penman, the Investing in Volunteers Assessor assigned to the Project, said it was a privilege to be involved in the Investing in Volunteers process with Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project.

“The volunteers, board members and staff I met over the past year are warm and enthusiastic representatives of an organisation which is working effectively across the region to deliver a high quality experience for volunteers, who in turn are well supported to provide a valuable service to young people and families. Many congratulations on all that you have achieved so far. A trustee explained to me during the assessment that the aim of the project over the next two years is ‘to keep growing’, and I look forward to staying in touch so I can hear about your ongoing developments and continued success,” she added

Dumfries and Galloway Befriending Project is urgently looking for more volunteer befrienders throughout the whole region. If you feel you can make a difference in the life of a young person, and you have a couple of spare hours a week, why not get in touch. Your time and commitment could be invaluable to a youngster (aged between 8 and 18) and you would become part of an extremely worthwhile and professional local charity.

Full training is given and all expenses are paid. Looking to start befriender training again early in 2020, east and west of the region, DGBP would love to hear from you. If you would like to know more, please contact the office on 01387-247812 for an informal chat or email

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