The Befriending service was established in response to a need among ex-residents of Back Lane Hostel to ease the change from supported accommodation to independent living. The befriending service is always developing to meet the needs of Depaul service users. We have extended the service to long term residents of Back Lane to re-establish a link to their community and prepare them for independent living. We currently work with 22 community participants and 14 in-house participants.
Once a service user is referred to the program by Back Lane staff they are matched with a Befriending volunteer. Through the support of dedicated volunteers, participants are encouraged to re-engage with local communities and establish supportive relationships with their peer group.
As well as meeting with their befriender in the community regularly, the programme organises monthly group events which encourage peer support. In line with our participant lead approach, a social committee made up of participants is held quarterly, where possible events are discussed.
The service operates from our Back Lane service in Dublin 8.
Referrals are only accepted through our Back Lane Hostel.