Cowal Elderly Befrienders

Scottish Charity Number: SC024686

About Us

Cowal has one of the highest elderly populations in Scotland, with around 30% of the population aged over 65, compared to 17% Scotland wide. Coupled with the rural geography of the region, the result is that many older people are unable to socialise with others or access local services in the area.

Cowal Elderly Befrienders started as part of Dunoon Elderly Project in 1996. The demand for the initial service was so great that the project became stand alone and achieved Charitable Status in 1997. It has grown every year since then, appointing a full time Coordinator in 2003, Outreach Workers and Admin support in 2006. 2019 marks the 23rd year of the Project.

We started life as a traditional Befriending project with volunteers visiting individual clients on a 1-2-1 basis, but as the project grew we found that people needed different things. Our range of services developed from listening to clients and trying to meet the needs expressed and we continue to work in this way, constantly reviewing and evaluating the services we offer.


The project now has 8 members of staff, 4 mini-buses and over 30 dedicated volunteers working together to provide more than 20,000 hours of Befriending services to around 200 older people every week. In December 2014 we launched a pilot project on the Isle of Bute, Bute Elderly Befrienders.


For more detailed information on the types of service that we offer please click here.