Befriending works: building resilience in local communities.
Provides an overview of how befriending can contribute to improving the health and well-being outcomes of vulnerable people at risk of social isolation or exclusion from mainstream society. It aims to inform commissioners, practitioners and clinicians working in the health and social care system, local authorities and civil society partner organisations, about how befriending is being delivered in local communities to improve health outcomes, reduce social isolation and contribute to wider local priorities.
- Befriending can be used as an effective intervention to support people with complex health and social care needs, challenging the misconception that befriending is simply a low-level intervention.
- Befriending can help improve health and well-being outcomes if used as an early intervention to aid re-ablement and build resilience, which in turn may help reduce future dependency on more costly health and social care services.
- Befriending can play a significant role in helping to create a social care environment that can help local authorities and their partners achieve the total transformation of adult social care within localities.
- Commissioners have the planning and quality assurance tools to build befriending provision into an integrated package of health and social care support that can contribute to the future health needs of local communities.
Our recommendations are calls to action to continue to measure the value and cost-effectiveness of these interventions, to continue the dialogue with commissioners and funders on the future design of services, and for national and local recognition of the importance of maintaining investment and support in preventative community services such as befriending schemes