Episode 20 – Special Edition: ‘Befriending’ during the pandemic

06 August 2021

This is the second special edition podcast that explores the ESRC-funded project, Mobilising Voluntary Action: Learning from Today, Prepared for Tomorrow,  which involved academics from across EARC.

In the last episode EARC Director Phil Ward talked to people who worked for charities and explained how their organisations coped with having to ‘pause’ volunteering during the pandemic. This time he’s talking to those whose work actually increased during the pandemic to cope with an increase in demand for their services.

They are ‘befriending’ charities, and they provide a lifeline for those who are isolated or lonely within society. Their services had never been more important than when the pandemic first hit. We hear about the exponential rise in the number of people seeking their help, and how they were able to deal with it. Taking part in the podcast are:

  • Sarah van Puten, the CEO of Befriending Networks in Scotland and
  • Josie Robinson from VODA in North Tyneside.

You can listen to the podcast via the player below, or via iTunes or Spotify.


Photo by Artyom Kabajev on Unsplash


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