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INtegr8 is the Youth Action Project’s Befriending Service for 10 – 21-year-olds.


We aim to reach some of West Lothian’s most vulnerable young people, specifically those who are isolated and experiencing issues around their mental health/well-being. Young people may have things going on in their lives such as peer or family difficulties, being bullied, feeling alone, or experiencing stress or anxiety. Our objectives for young people are:


  • To reduce social isolation

  • To increase levels of confidence & self-esteem

  • To engage young people in sustainable community activities

  • To improve communication skills

  • To help young people cope better emotionally



Befriending is support offered to young people on a one-to-one basis. It is carried out by trained and vetted volunteers who meet with their young people either weekly or fortnightly for around 2-3 hours per session, during which time they take part in social & recreational activities together. Young people can discuss any aspect of their lives with their befriender if they want to. INtegr8 offers a confidential service.


Referral Criteria:


  • Young person aged 10 – 21

  • Living in West Lothian

  • Experiencing issues affecting mental health/well-being

  • Isolated/not involved in any social or recreational activities


Due to high demand on our service, and delivery dependent upon availability of trained volunteers and capacity to support them, the Befriending Service is unable to accept and progress referrals on a responsive basis. A waiting list is in operation, which is usually long. Befrienders normally support one young person at a time for a period of around 1 year. At capacity, the befriending team consists of approximately twenty volunteers.


Statistics – October 2021 to September 2022


  • 26 enquiries logged into the waiting system

  • 56 enquiries from community members exploring volunteering opportunities

  • 9 volunteers participated in befriender training

  • 17 young people received 1-1 befriender support

  • 14 trained and vetted volunteers provided befriender support to young people

  • Up to 22 active matches can be supported at any time, secure funding dependent


Please access the befriending service information leaflet here:

​To enquire about support or how to become a volunteer befriender, please contact:


Angie Gourdie,

INtegr8 Co-ordinator 01506 431430



“I got involved mainly to get my head cleared and to have time away from my family which was stressful for me at the time. I’ve been let down before, but my befriender is easy to talk to and reliable. She is able to get through to me and understands.”

Befriendee (young person)


“This volunteering role has definitely been a meaningful use of my time. It’s helped to build up my skills and confidence. I feel it’s a great service, very professional and organised. I feel supported within the role and am glad I have been able to give something back to the community.”

Befriender (volunteer)


“Befriending makes a difference as it means he has someone to confide in and that he can build a relationship with outside the house. He is getting exactly what he needs out of the service.”



“The young people are at the heart of the service, and they are listened to.”


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