News Archive




Emma Raises nearly £400 for Befrienders!
Monday 19th May 2015


We are hugely proud to announce that Emma Watson, one of our local supporters, has raised the impressive amount of £374 for Cowal Befrienders after completing the Women's 10K event in Glasgow during May.

This generous donation will go towards our fund-raising campaign for a new minibus which was launched at the beginning of this year.

If you would like to fund raise for us or are interested in finding out more about volunteering with the project, please do get in touch.

Well done Emma!



New Bus for Dementia Support Service
Thursday 19th March 2015

Cowal Befrienders are delighted to announce the delivery of a new minibus to help in the delivery of our Dementia Support service. The specially adapted Citroen Berlingo was purchased with the help of a £15,000 grant from the Wolfson Foundation, as well as a local fundraising campaign spearheaded by users of the service.



Dementia Support is an increasingly vital arm of Cowal Befrienders’ range of services, with 73 clients receiving support over the past 12 months.




Cowal Befrienders Awarded IiV Accreditation


Wednesday 28th January 2015
Cowal Befrienders have been sucessful in their pursuit of the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) accreditation. This award, which acknowledges our high standard of practice in volunteer management, is all the more special as we are the only organisation in Argyll to have the IiV accreditation.

Achieving the IiV standard has been the culmination of 14 months of hard work for the project, and has ensured that volunteers will have the very best experience during their time with Befrienders.

We would like to thank all of our volunteers, staff and Committee members for their help in achieving this tremendous accolade. We have always taken pride in the quality of service that we provide to our clients, and this award is a welcome recognition of the commitment that our volunteers and staff demonstrate on a daily basis.



Bute Befrienders Launches New Website

Tuesday 1st December 2014

The Bute Elderly Befrienders project marked a milestone today with the launch of their new website. The website will be the first point of contact for people interested in finding out more about this innovative service on Bute.

Referral forms and volunteer application forms can also be found on the website, which has been launched on the same day that the project welcomed their new Outreach Worker, Pieter van Der Werf.

The home of Bute Befrienders can be found at butebefrienders.com



Over £900 Raised in Fundraising Event

Monday 27th October 2014
A team of 7 committed clients, staff and volunteers set off on a 13 mile sponsored walk on Saturday (25th October) to raise funds towards a new mini-bus for our Dementia Support service. Despite the awful weather, everyone made in back by 2.30pm to a well-deserved lunch and glass of bubbles!

Thanks to everyone who helped out with the event. Once all money is collected we look set to have raised over £900. A fantastic achievement!


Clients & Staff in Fundraising Challenge

Thursday 16th October 2014

A determined team of Befrienders' clients, staff and volunteers are embarking on a 13 mile walk from our Drop-In Centre on John Street, Dunoon, to Toward Lighthouse and back again to raise funds for a new mini-bus. The walk is being led by our Dementia Support worker, Linda Ross, who is being joined by several of our clients, as well as volunteers and other staff. A new mini-bus is badly needed to better meet the needs of our Dementia Support Service, particularly in our rural communities of Cowal.

The team will be setting off from our Drop-In Centre at 9am on Saturday 25th October, and are expected to return by about 2pm. We will be holding a reception party with refreshments to congratulate everyone on their achievement. This is expected to be from about 1.30pm.

If you would like to sponsor the participants please contact us or even make a donation online. We are also looking for people to come along and support the team on the day and help with refreshments upon their return.


Funding Confirmed for Bute Elderly Befrienders

Thursday 28th August 2014

We can confirm today that we have secured funding through the Reshaping Care for Older People (RCOP) locality Change Fund budget to establish a befriending project on the Isle of Bute - "Bute Elderly Befrienders". This follows a Scoping Exercise that Cowal Befrienders undertook in 2013 to assess the potential need for a befriending or social contact initiative on the island. We will be recruiting a part-time Outreach Worker over the coming months who will be responsible for co-ordinating and running a range of Befriending Services for frail older people across Bute. Volunteers will be recruited and trained to support all aspects of the service including our Peer and 1-2-1 Befriending activities. An Information Day will be held in Rothesay in the near future, providing an opportunity for professionals and members of the public to come along and find out more about the new service. Details of the event will be published on our website when confirmed.



New Befrienders Bus Launched

Friday 20th June 2014

After months of fundraising we were today proud to officially launch our new mini bus. The campaign to start

our fundraising endeavour began in earnest last year with a generous offer from the Kilfinan Trust to match every £1 raised locally with a further £2. This prompted staff, clients and volunteers to organise a huge array of fundraising activities resulting in our target being achieved by October 2013. The new Renualt Master mini-bus with space for up to 9 passengers, including 2 wheelchair users, includes a tail lift for easier client access and will enable us to increase our capacity for client services. We would like to thank everyone involved in fundraising activities and look forward to providing many happy memories in our new bus.



A Warm Welcome to Wendy!

Monday 6th January 2014

We are delighted to welcome Wendy Thomson, our new Information and Administration Officer to the team. Wendy brings with her experience of working in the voluntary sector locally, and will be leading our Information Service from both the Befrienders' Centre and on an Outreach basis.


Befrienders Win Prestigious Age Scotland Award

Friday 11th October 2013

Cowal Befrienders have been given the Runner Up award in the "Services for Older People" category of the 2013 Age Scotland Awards, held at the Scottish Parliament in October. This reflects the hard work that all our staff and volunteers put in to delivering the best possible service for our clients, and going 'that extra mile' to meet their needs.

A big Thank You and well done to everyone involved in making this happen.

New Premises Opened

Monday 22nd July 2013

Our new Befrienders' Centre at 108 John Street, Dunoon was officially opened last Friday (19th July) by Jo Cowan of Age Scotland. A huge "Thank You" to everyone that attended and made the afternoon so memorable.



We Have Moved!

Tuesday 4th June 2013

On 4th June 2013 Cowal Befrienders moved in to their new premises at 128 John Street, Dunoon, PA23 7BN. Our phone number remains the same. Our purpose built centre includes space for client activities as well as an expanded Information Service. We are all very pleased with the increased space that the centre gives us and would welcome anyone who would like to call in for a guided tour of the building! We will be bringing our clients in to have a look around over the next few weeks so don't worry if you haven't yet had a chance to stop by! Please feel free to call in to visit us at any time for a coffee and a chat. We have a range of information Factsheets which are free to take away and you can also make use of our I.T facilities to research topics of interest. Volunteer application forms and client referrals are also available.


Befrienders Become an SCIO

Friday 15th March 2013

On the 5th March 2013 Cowal Befrienders transferred their legal status from an Unincorporated Association to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Our charity number remains the same (SC0 24686) but we will now be known as, "Cowal Elderly Befrienders SCIO".

SCIO status will provide our trustees with greater legal protection and will allow us the same priviliges as a separate corporate body.



Kilfinan Fund Provide Match Funding for Mini-bus Appeal
Thursday 31st January 2013

Some of you will know that we are currently trying to raise £28,000 between now and the end of August to replace one of our mini buses, which is in need of constant repair.

We are delighted to announce that the Kilfinan Fund, who have supported the charity for many years, have pledged to match every £1 raised with a further £2.  The fund is managed by Foundation Scotland (formerly the Scottish Community Foundation).

Hearing news of the match funding Pauline Livingstone, Coordinator said, “With just six months to raise such a large amount to know that for very £1 we will get another £2 from the Kilfinan Fund is wonderful news. I hope local people will respond to our appeal, knowing that their donation will go so much further to reaching our target.”

“Grant funding for mini buses is extremely hard to come by and The Kilfinan Fund has provided a life line with this offer and we hope people will support us by visiting our website and make a donation, supporting our local fundraising activities or just popping into our office on Argyll Street”.

For more information, or to make a donation to the appeal, please contact the office on 01369 704985. You can also make a secure online donation here.





Befrienders Extra Service Launches
Monday 21st January 2013

We are pleas
ed to announce the launch of a new Befriending service known as Befrienders Extra.

Befrienders Extra will offer one-off, odd-jobs which will be carried out by trained and
vetted volunteers. Each service carried out will be charged a nominal fee of £3.

Befrienders Extra is an optional, additional service. It will in no way affect the services that clients already receive. Our core services will remain free and the income from Befrienders Extra will help us to continue to offer our other services without charge.

For more information about Befrienders Extra and the types of services that it offers please click here.



Christmas & New Year Hours
Thursday 20th December 2012

As always, we will be available throughout the Christmas and New Year period. Services will operate as normal up to and including Friday 21st December.

24th December: OFFICE CLOSES AT 1PM
25th - 26th December: OFFICE CLOSED
27th - 31st December: LIMITED SERVICE ONLY

1st - 2nd January 2013: OFFICE CLOSED
3rd - 4th January: LIMITED SERVICE ONLY
7th January: FULL SERVICES RESUME

On the days when we are operating a limited service, we will be carrying out Home Visits to our priority clients and will also try to organise as many outings on the bus as we can. Phone messages will be checked at 11am.

Outside these hours you can leave a message with us at the office and we will get back to you as soon as we can.





Iain to run West Highland Way for the Befrienders

Monday 14th May 2012

On the 24th June 2012 Iain Cairns will be running all 95 gruelling miles of the West Highland Way Race, and has chosen the Befrienders as his nominated charity. Please support Iain in his incredible challenge by donating through his fundraising page.




Linda completes Glasgow 10k race!
Thursday 16th May 2012

Our Dementia
Support worker, Linda Ross, completed the 'Ignis Women's 10k' event last weekend in a thoroughly commendable time of 1hr 23mins, raising a total of £403.50p! All money donated from her sponsorship from the race will go to the Befrienders. Many thanks to everyone who sponsored Linda.




Befrienders awarded 5 year Lottery grant.
Wednesday 9th May 2012

We can today announce that Cowal Befrienders have been awarded £399,230 from the Big Lottery Fund's 'Investing in Communities' fund. The grant will support our work over 5 years and represents a large proportion of the money needed to continue our services across Cowal.

We would like to thank everyone who supported us in our application and look forward to another 5 years of working with the Big Lottery Fund. As part of of this grant we will be introducing a new service to be known as "Befrienders Extra", which will involve a team of skilled volunteers carring out jobs for our clients that, although not traditionally a feature of Befriending services, they would be unable to do themselves. There will be a small charge for this service. More details to follow soon.



Volunteer Training Calendar Confirmed

Monday 23rd May 2012


Our Staff an
d Volunteer Training Calendar is now available to download. We will be running a variety of exciting workshops this year, with a new Dementia Awareness course taking centre stage.
If you have any courses in mind that you would like to see on our Training Calendar, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

Please Note: 'Practical Fundraising' has been re-scheduled take place on the 24th May. Apologies for any inconvencies this has caused anyone.

Please click here to download the 2012 Training Calendar.