Befriending is a service that provides companionship to vulnerable people finding living in their community difficult. It offers the opportunity to develop new relationships and participate in social activities. Omagh Support Group provide a befriending service to all its members.

Befriending offers supportive, reliable relationships through volunteer befrienders to members who would otherwise would be socially isolated. The results of befriending can be very significant. Befriending often provides people with a new direction in life, opens a range of activities and leads to increased self-esteem and self-confidence. Befriending can also reduce the burden on other services which people may use inappropriately as they seek social contact.


A befriender is a trained volunteer who offers their friendship – within agreed limits and boundaries – to someone who is isolated, lonely, or vulnerable.

Befriending at Omagh Support Group involves;

  • Maintaining confidentiality
  • Visiting you regularly in your home
  • Meeting you or accompanying you into at a coffee morning
  • Accompany you on an outing, an activity
  • Accompany you to a doctors or hospital appointment

There are a number of things in which befrienders are not allowed to do;

  • Cannot carry out tasks in your home
  • Cannot accept gifts or money
  • Cannot get involved in private family matters
  • Cannot look after children or elders if present


Omagh Support Group have provided a befriending service since 1999, it has developed an expert knowledge and experience in this area and have developed a comprehensive and accredited training programme for volunteer befrienders. The programme provides individual befrienders with the practical skills and knowledge needed to be effective and valuable companions. It is compulsory for befrienders to undergo a qualified training programme before they begin to volunteer. Befrienders are taken step by step through the following structure;

  • Understanding what is meant by befriending
  • Understanding the building of relationships during the befriending process
  • Understanding listening and communicating
  • Understanding boundaries and confidentiality
  • Understanding attitudes, skills and values associated with befriending
  • Understanding life cycle of befriending process
  • Understanding Standards and support for befrienders
  • Training also involves role plays, case studies, discussion and practical exercises.

If you are interested in becoming a trained befriender please contact Omagh Support Group. Befriender positions are voluntary. Support and travel expenses are provided.


Omagh Support have a dedicated befriending coordinator; Michael Gallagher, who has undergone befriending and befriending coordinator training.

If you would like a befriender to help or accompany you please contact;

Michael Gallagher on 028 82259877.