The idea of a befriending scheme was conceived in 1997  following an assessment of the needs of patients who were being  referred to the day hospitals in Monifieth. This identified that some people fell into the category of being socially isolated to the point that it was detrimental to their health, which suggested that although rehabilitation potential had been met, there were unmet social needs. This was causing increased dependency on social services and the local day hospital. Existing resources in Monifieth – a lunch club in a local church, a church visiting scheme, and a day care facility attached to a local resident home – offering 6 places – were not sufficient to meet these needs.

In Spring 1999 a small working group of interested individuals from Day Hospitals, Social Work Department, Angus Association of Voluntary Organisations and local clergy worked towards a public meeting.  Following the public meeting, a steering group of 10 individuals was set up, representative of the local community, statutory and voluntary sectors.

By December 2000 we had written a constitution, elected a Management Committee and achieved charitable status.  During 2001 the Management Committee submitted grant applications to Awards for All, Lloyds TSB and Unemployed Voluntary Action.  We were successful with all these grant applications.  Awards for All allowed us to purchase IT equipment, and UVAF provided the monies for office furniture, telephone line, stationery and Volunteer Co-ordinator and volunteer out-of-pocket expenses.  Lloyds TSB awarded monies to employ a Volunteer Co-ordinator.

In March 2004 we received 3-year funding from Communities Fund (now Big Lottery) then 5-year funding from Big Lottery. This enabled us to expand our project in a controlled manner, providing a growing befriending service to socially isolated older people in Monifieth. Since inception, we have met the needs of over 100 clients. Befriending takes place either in the client’s home or where appropriate, volunteers also take clients out.

In 2007 Monifieth Befriending Scheme extended it’s befriending service to include bereaved people of any age living in Monifieth and in 2013, in conjunction with Monifieth High School, we extended our service to include people in care homes matched with 6th pupils.