Mentoring and befriending

Housing Justice provides bespoke mentoring and befriending training and support to help churches and other organisations support homeless, formerly homeless and isolated people.

With an ever-increasing number of people in the UK living alone, it can be difficult to build new and positive relationships, especially after a period of transition and difficulty. Homelessness is usually the final stage of several difficult circumstances: job loss, relationship breakdown, migration among others. With all social networks broken down or non-existent, the role for a caring volunteer who will stay alongside someone who’s been through these kind of challenges can really make a difference and help form new relationships. It can help people get to know their new area, get into colleges and work, or simply help them have some structure in their life and someone to spend time with once every week or two.

Housing Justice can provide training and support for mentoring programmes. We provide training around boundaries, listening skills, safeguarding and recruiting and retaining volunteer mentors and befrienders, funding your scheme and more. To find out more, please email:

We've most recently provided customised training in Halifax, South Tyneside and Brighton and are happy to tailor training to your particular needs.

A training outcome

Olave & St. Thomas’ Church in Harrow requested befriending training for volunteers coming to their proposed weekly drop in. The training was very well attended, and well received, and a few months after the training was completed drop in sessions began.

They proved very popular indeed with more homeless, formerly homeless and otherwise isolated local people coming all the time. The training has given volunteers a good grounding in boundaries, confidentiality and listening skills among other things and more training will be carried out in future.

What people say who have attended Housing Justice mentoring and befriending training:

- The information on local government policy on rehousing was very informative

- It was useful to hear about what to do in different situations and the boundaries involved in mentoring

- Perfect length, content and structure

- Information was easy to follow, the training was very well organised and there was good participation from attendees

- A good introduction to techniques in befriending

- Informative handouts

What people say who have had mentoring and befriending relationships through Housing Justice mentoring and befriending programmes:

- If it wasn’t for my befriender, I’d probably have given up this flat and be back out on the streets drinking again

- I need to be around good people and mentoring was good for that

- It has been helpful; it was a matter of finding the right thing at the right time (volunteering opportunities) and has been successful so far

- My favourite thing about mentoring was meeting my befriendee each week and hearing about her life during the week. If something good had happened during the week such as her getting 18/20 on her English test, she would be so happy!

- I didn’t know what to expect; for me it’s been a positive experience

- Meeting real people, being able to talk through problems with someone who’s “detached”. Also, the moral support

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