If you decide that you a ready to become a Sands Befriender, please complete an application form. This will ask you to briefly comment on how you meet the following criteria:

  • Good communication and listening skills
  • Awareness of the importance of confidentiality
  • Able to manage your own experience and memories of bereavement
  • Awareness of your own support needs
  • Non-judgmental attitude to others

Our application form will also ask for two referees, and we will need satisfactory references before you start befriending. The references can be from someone who has known you in a personal or professional capacity for at least two years but not a family member or close friend. One of them will need to be known to you outside of Sands. We will ask them to comment on your suitability to be a befriender.

During the pre-course period we contact your local Group to seek confirmation you have attended their support meetings. We will ask the befrienders in the Group whether they feel you have reached a point where you might be ready to offer support to others.

We will set up an informal chat for you with Lesley Dewar, our Befriender Training Coordinator. Lesley will be able to give you much more information about the training, and help you to decide if you are ready to commit to what can be a challenging two days.