The BAS befriending scheme is a free, six week mentoring programme for parents* new to autism or who need a bit of extra support. The scheme is designed so that a parent/carer can be supported by a befriending volunteer – this will be a fellow parent/carer who is further along in their journey. You can ask questions, find out information and get some emotional support from your mentor.
You and your befriender will be in contact for a period of six weeks. During the pandemic, you will decide together how this can work – you can speak by phone, have video chats or simply communicate by text or email, or a combination of these. Your befriender will be available to support you for a cumulative total of one hour each week.
Your befriender will be selected for you based on the information you give us. As it is very important to match you with an appropriate person, please be aware there may be a wait before you are matched.
You must be a member of BAS in order to join the befriending scheme. To join BAS as a member, please click here.
The goal of the parent/befriender relationship is to provide you with as much information and help as possible over the course of the six week period. This support is very specific: your befriender will work with you specifically around the subject of autism, and is not expected to offer general advice (for example about relationships or benefits other than disability-related benefits).
Your befriender will have a BAS-issued mobile phone and email address for you to contact them through.
You and your befriender will agree to times when contact is best. Please bear in mind that that the befriender may have children at home during the pandemic, but will do everything in their power to support you over the six weeks.
The boundaries of this scheme are very strict and are to be followed for the safety and protection of all parties involved. Our befrienders have been trained to follow our Safeguarding Policy. We take Safeguarding extremely seriously and are bound by law to act on any concerns we have.
* ’Parents’ could be biological or adoptive, foster carers or other unpaid carers
Please be sure to check your email, including your junk mail, for messages from us about organising your befriending sessions.