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Befriending Opportunities

Looking for a volunteering opportunity?

Our volunteer befrienders get a lot of satisfaction and happiness from what they do. They enjoy making a difference to people’s lives and meeting new friends.

Ecas is a long-established Edinburgh charity supporting people with physical disabilities. We are a small, friendly organisation and offer our volunteers training and lots of support.

If you'd like to find out more about volunteering in Edinburgh as a befriender, contact Ally or Sam on 0131 475 2344 or befriendingmanager@ecas-edinburgh.org

You can also read our summary page, visit our gallery or read Jen's experience of her first year of befriending.

Below you will find some current examples of people in Edinburgh for whom we'd like to find a befriender.

Related staff

Volunteer Opportunities

Chat, Travel, Stories Befriender
Reading love stories, sewing, crochet, tapestries. These are a few of the things this lady liked when she was younger. She has also travelled all over the world with her husband, who was in the Army.
Now, because of a stroke, back pain and poor eyesight her activities are more restricted. She has recently moved from Musselburgh into Edinburgh, and doesn’t have any social links, so she would really love someone to chat to. She likes to watch River City and some soaps, also antique shows, The Chase, quizzes and nature documentaries. If you would like to visit her for a chat, and maybe help her regain some confidence we would love to hear from you. She lives in Colinton, about 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Young at Heart, Conversation Befriender
Would you like to visit someone who likes an intelligent conversation, a cup of tea, and going out?
The tiredness caused by her ME stops her from doing much, but when she can she likes to paint pictures, and to go swimming. She has a lively mind and likes art, theology, philosophy, debate and discussion. She’d like to meet someone for company, moral support to go out, and conversation – though she doesn’t want to talk about cooking and knitting! If you are young at heart and like good conversation we would love to hear from you. She lives in Restalrig, about 25 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Like-minded Company Befriender
Like swimming, cinema and shopping? Interested in arts and crafts? Have a passion for horses, football or fantasy/sci-fi TV and films?
We are looking for a befriender for young woman with Cerebral Palsy who would love the chance to get out more, meet people and benefit from some like-minded company. She’s a bubbly character who gets on well with people and has varied interests, including shopping, hip-hop music, and reading and watching stories of the supernatural. She lives in Liberton, 45 minutes from the city centre by public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Cats, Hot Chocolate and Getting Out Befriender
Would you like to meet a woman who likes cats, hot chocolate and getting out now and then?
She has breathing and mobility problems, and her condition causes a lot of pain and discomfort. The arthritis in her spine and knees means she uses a walking stick whilst at home and a 4-wheeled walker or manual wheelchair for trips outs. She would like to meet someone new and occasionally get out, go shopping and visit new places. She describes herself as a quite outgoing and generally easy-going person. She likes animals a lot – in particular cats. She also enjoys visiting the countryside. She would enjoy going to the shops with a befriender, going out for a hot chocolate or maybe taking a bus run to the countryside. In the warmer weather she’d enjoy visiting the Botanics. She lives in Slateford, about 20 minutes from the city centre via public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Coffee and a Chat Befriender
Would you like to meet with a woman who is fun, young at heart and a positive thinker?
She has Multiple Sclerosis and suffers from Bronchiectasis as well. The MS results in leg spasms and grip problems, and she is a full-time wheelchair user. Bronchiectasis means that she has had a section of her lung removed and therefore finds it a bit difficult to breathe. She’s very interested in museums and galleries and collects teapots and paperweights as a hobby. She enjoys most music and likes watch the soaps or a drama on TV. She has travelled all over America and parts of Canada during her working life. She is originally from Orkney and grew up in Thurso. If possible she would like to go to the Botanics and Ocean Terminal for a coffee or out to galleries or museums with a Befriender. She would to have something to look forward to, maybe have a chat and maybe enable her to go out and about more. She lives in Granton, about 20 minutes by public transport from the city centre.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Chat, Painting and Creativity Befriender
Would you like to meet a creative woman who would appreciate the chance to have a good chat and get out of the house more?
We are looking for a befriender for a woman who can no longer walk many steps due to back trouble, arthritis and ankle problems. She would love to have a bit of a chat, either over a cup of tea at home or a coffee out and about, and would like to visit galleries and museums. She is a very talented person, who likes to paint in her garden when the weather permits it. She likes to make poems and enjoyed crafts such as making toys. She loves spending time with her grandson, and at home she likes watching nature documentaries, Emmerdale and Antiques Roadshow. She has had a varied working life: she’s packed chocolate, cleaned bottles at a distillery, cleaned at a hospital and worked at a ropery. If you would like to get to know her, please get in touch! She lives in Oxgangs, about 30 minutes by bus from the city centre.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Companionship and Chat Befriender
Would you like to meet an open an easy going man who would like some focused companionship?
He had a stroke in early 2016, which affected his left hand, including his arm and leg. He uses a wheelchair for mobilising in the house and a powered wheelchair outside. He lives with his wife who supports him, and with whom he has travelled the globe. He is fascinated by American history, particularly as he has family there. He likes American TV, Civil War history and classic western films. He likes watching cricket and football. He is a Hearts fan and used to be a football referee, getting plenty of verbal abuse! He has lived and worked in Edinburgh all his life, working on repairing and inspecting railways and the Forth Rail Bridge. He lives in the Gorgie area, about 20 minutes from the centre of the city by public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Friendly Chat and Getting Out Befriender
We’re looking for someone who would like to visit a friendly, easy going and outgoing person who would like some regular company.
He has Cerebral Palsy in his legs and has also had a broken leg recently, meaning that he uses a wheelchair inside and outside of the house. He lives with his mum, dad and brother. He would like something to look forward to and a chance to get out. He likes music from the 50’s and 60’s such as Elvis, Buddy Holly and The Who, and like to go to musical theatre to do with that period. Sometimes he goes to bingo, the cinema and to concerts. He likes classic films and comedies, such as Laurel and Hardy, and likes westerns and modern blockbusters. On TV he likes snooker, rugby and football – he is a Hearts supporter and used to watch them play. He also likes Eastenders, nature programmes and quiz shows. He lives in Sighthill, about 35 minutes from central Edinburgh by public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Chat and Coffee Befriender
Would you like to visit a quiet woman who likes to have a chat and maybe get out for a coffee?
Her chronic arthritis means she finds it very painful to walk; she has to walk very slowly and can’t walk far. She is also partially sighted, has had a hip replacement and uses a walking stick or a 3-wheeled walking frame when outdoors to aid her mobility. She misses getting out and about. She really enjoys the countryside (she was brought up on the Isle of Lewis and speaks fluent Gaelic) and finds Edinburgh a bit too busy for her! She watches a lot of TV and enjoys watching sports. She describes herself as independent, shy at first but then outgoing, likes to meet new people and is young in mind. What she hopes to gain from having a Befriender is to be able to get out and about, have some company (as she is bored of the TV!) and maybe gain a friend. She lives in Marchmont, 10-15 minutes from central Edinburgh by public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Shopping and Getting Out Befriender
Would you like to get to know someone who likes shopping and would like the chance to get out for a walk?
This woman has a lack of mobility in her left hand side due to a brain haemorrhage. She uses a stick to mobilise inside and outside of the house, and also has a wheelchair. She can be anxious but would like to improve her confidence in going out. She likes to go shopping to places like the Gyle, having a cup of coffee or going out for walks. As well as getting out, she likes to watch soaps, the news, Come Dine with Me and Jeremy Kyle, listen to the radio, and read magazines, such as Take a Break and TV Choice. She has an easy going personality and would benefit from social contact with a trustworthy person who could get out and about with her. She lives by East Craigs, about 35 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh by public transport.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Rock Guitar, Motorbikes, Art, Tattoos Befriender
Do you want to help a man who has had dark days in the past but now wants to make a friend, develop his hobbies and interests and play his guitar?
His leg was amputated in 2011 and since then he has lost mobility and also confidence. He likes classic rock such as Deep Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Clash. He is good at drawing and sketching, and designed his own tattoos. He is a movie buff, and has around 3,000 DVDs. He particularly likes horror, thriller and action movies, also box sets such as Game of Thrones and Sons of Anarchy. His favourite TV shows are Superbikes, Formula 1, Top Gear and comedy shows. If you would like to help him make more of his life we would love to hear from you. He lives in Gorgie, about 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Engineering, Electronics Befriender
Would you like to meet a man who wants to chat, go to museums, the Botanic Gardens, electronics shops? He likes to watch Star Trek, also likes anything to do with engineering or steam, petrol or diesel engines. He also likes to watch documentaries, particularly science ones.
He used to work as an engineer, but now has had two strokes and also has some painful arthritis. He’s therefore a full-time wheelchair user, though as it is a powered one he can get around and use public transport with help. His stroke sometimes affects his language, so he occasionally talks loudly or swears, but it’s simply part of his condition. If you would like to help him and reduce his isolation we would love to hear from you. He lives in Kingsknowe, about 35 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Coffee, Chat, Getting Out and About Befriender
Would you like to help a man become more active and get out and about after a stroke. He used to be a skilled joiner, and ran his own business with his partner. He can no longer do this, but would like to take up as many of his old hobbies as he can. These include model making, especially train sets, gardening and music.
He lives with his partner and two children, but his social contact is very limited and he would greatly benefit from going out, maybe for a cup of coffee and a chat, or further afield to the Botanics. He used to speak fluent English but since his stroke he has reverted to mainly speaking Polish, so it’s important that you speak Polish. If you would like to help him we would be happy to hear from you. He stays in the Grassmarket, 15 minutes’ walk from Edinburgh city centre.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Quiet Chat, Cup of Tea Befriender
Do you want to meet a man who would like someone to talk to, and to get out and about – maybe over to Leith, for a cup of tea, or maybe to a museum or art gallery, or to the Botanics?
He is restricted by his breathing difficulties, and has to use oxygen, including taking a tank with him when he goes out – which has to be in a wheelchair as he is too weak to walk any distance unaided. He has a friend who visits him, but he is not in good health and will have to stop. He likes to watch TV, all the soaps, NCIS and American dramas. He likes all kinds of Country and Western music, and is a quiet person. If you would like to help him to get some regular social contact and to lighten his mood, we would love to hear from you. He lives in Portobello, about 35 minutes from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Conversation, Trips Out, Making the Day Shorter Befriender
We’re looking for someone who would like to meet a woman who needs conversation and encouragement/help to go out for trips to the Garden Centre, for example. She used to like gardening but can’t do it any more.
Before she developed her condition she worked in Social Care, but now movement can be painful and difficult for her. She has a dry sense of humour, and likes watching CSI, Criminal Minds and documentaries on TV. She listens to 80s music on the radio, and likes contemporary ballet. She is a smoker, and though she keeps the window open and has an ioniser she’d prefer to see someone who didn’t mind smoking. If you’d like to meet her to chat or go out, we’d love to hear from you. She stays in Piershill, about 20 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Company, Confidence, History Befriender
Would you like to visit a man who would benefit from some company, and also help him gain more confidence in going out? Moving is difficult and painful for him, and he spends a lot of his time in his flat drawing and making military models.
He describes himself as easy going, open and honest. He likes watching factual programmes on TV, for example history and nature, and also likes war films. If you can give him some company and some confidence we’d like to hear from you. He lives in Saughton, about half an hour by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on befriendingmanager@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Guitars and Golf Befriender
Before his stroke in 2013 this man ran his own motor spares business. One of his hobbies was playing the guitar – particularly blues, but other styles too.
He particularly likes Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan. He also was a keen golfer. He’s not a big film-goer, but he enjoyed John Wick. His condition affects his balance, speech and co-ordination – he uses a wheelchair in the house, and can stand up briefly. He hopes to get an electric wheelchair which will affect his ability to get around. He describes himself as determined, driven and a bit stubborn! Though he lives with his partner, she is out at work all day and he would really benefit from some company and communication. If you could help him we would really like to hear from you. He stays in Liberton, about 40 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Good Sense of Humour, Cars, Confidence Befriender
Are you a creative communicator with a good sense of humour?
Then you might be interested in helping this man to gain the independence to choose what he wants to do. He was very active and able till he had a stroke in 2013, but now uses a wheelchair to get around and has communication difficulties. He is a sociable man and his friends occasionally drop in to see him, but he is often “taken out” rather than deciding what to do himself. He worked for many years at the Scotsman newspaper, then became a voluntary director with St Columba’s Hospice. He used to read, though can’t do that now. He’d like someone who could read to him, or help with the crossword., He likes rugby, cars and motor sports, Top Gear, Morse, CSI. If you’d like to help him get out and do some of the things he likes, please get in touch. He stays in Juniper Green, about half an hour by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Chat, Shopping, Live Music Befriender
Would you like to help someone who likes chatting and shopping?
She also loves live music and the cinema, and would love the chance to get out to a gig or to see a film. Her condition makes her weak and unsteady on her feet, so she cannot go out on her own. As she doesn’t often get out she has become quite isolated, so she also misses being able to have a cup of tea and a good chat with someone. If you can share some of her interests you could make a big difference to her life. She lives in Dalmeny, about 40 minutes by public transport from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.
Getting to Know Someone Befriender
We are looking for someone who would like to visit a man who would enjoy getting to know someone, and maybe an occasional trip to the shops.
Before he became disabled he worked with the railway, keeping stations clean and tidy. He now has a manual wheelchair but can’t self-propel, so is restricted in what he can do. He enjoys chatting, watching films, and listening to music. He used to be a DJ in his younger years, and has always been a really big fan of the singer Lena Zavaroni. He watches TV, and particularly likes Film 4. He’s also a Hibs fan. If you would like to give him some company, and occasionally go out with him, we would love to hear from you. He stays in Granton, about 25 minutes by bus from the centre of Edinburgh.
To find out more about how to become a volunteer befriender for this person or someone else, email us on info@ecas-edinburgh.org.