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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


What is Befriending?

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 approximately once a week for 2 – 3 hours, 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 very long. Befrienders normally support 1 young person at a time for a period of around 1 year. At capacity, the befriending team consists of 20 - 22 volunteers.


Statistics – April 2018 to March 2019


  • 10 enquiries logged into the waiting system

  • 7 enquiries from community members exploring volunteering opportunities

  • 3 volunteers participated in befriender training

  • 21 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


To enquire, please contact:

Angie Gourdie,

INtegr8 Co-ordinator 01506 431430

Be-Frienders (the volunteers)


“Watching the changes in some of the young people make it all worthwhile.   It’s been a pleasure to be part of it all”.


“I feel like I have achieved something and also supported someone else to achieve.   I loved it”.





“The young people we refer are always more social and benefit from their befriender.  They get opportunities they wouldn’t have had and become more confident in themselves.   This is an excellent service and we would be lost without this resource to offer our most vulnerable young people”.