News & Events

We achieve EXCELLENCE award for the third time

20.12.2018 - 13:52

We are proud to have received our third QiB award, saying that we have ‘achieved the required standard for Excellent Practice in Befriending’ and is awarded by Befriending Networks Scotland.

The process requires us to thoroughly examine our practice to ensure that we have everything in place to offer volunteers and families a really well thought through and tailored service.  It takes a lot of work to comply with the QiB requirements but it is really worthwhile as it gives us time to examine everything we do and ensures that we keep our practice up to date.

The Quality in Befriending (QiB) Award is the only award in the UK, which is specifically tailored for befriending services. The QiB Award is valued by referrers, befrienders, commissioners and funders.

 “Achieving QiB demonstrates that a project has the management expertise, processes and resources to deliver a consistently high quality service. Both client and volunteers can expect to be fully prepared and supported throughout their befriending experience. ”              External Verifier

“Achieving QiB is no mean feat. It means that a project has systematically investigated its own practice in order to compile its application. It means that the project has internal procedures in place and in practice to ensure that its work provides the best experience for everyone involved in the relationships it initiates. And it means that the project has been able to produce evidence of all of this for assessors and verifiers to clearly see that standards of good practice have been met.”            External Verifier

Sections of the report

After meeting a volunteer and a family the overall comment on the feedback report on Home Link Family Support said: 

  • The service is clearly well organised and has clear processes and procedures in place across the different parts of the service. 
  • Both the family and the volunteer felt very well supported by the project and although had no difficulties to raise did feel they could have raised these should they have needed to.
  • The family was clear that the service had been valuable and had provided her support “The service is really reliable which I need and I look forward to XX coming.  I would just like to say THANK YOU to Home Link it has been so helpful, it’s shame my year is almost over.” She also stated “I would recommend the service to other mums,  it makes the day go brighter.”
QiB verifiers selected a couple of areas of particularly good practice:

    Specific examples of noteworthy resources and materials included in the application are listed below with comments.

  • It was nice to hear from the family that although it took a while to meet her family volunteer it didn’t feel like she was on a waiting list and the Coordinator kept in regular contact and supported her during the time “it didn’t really feel like waiting”
  • Good examples viewed of both qualitative and quantitative data on internal evaluations and the use of an external evaluator.
  • Out of hours well thought out and clear procedures
  • Good clear strategic plan with clear aims and responsibility and timelines and indicators
boy and toys

Cody's Xmas Toy Box

06.12.2018 - 14:50

What a wonderful surprise. Cody, aged 10, delivered sackfuls of children's Christmas gifts to our office.

His amazing fundraising effort called Cody's Xmas Toybox, enables us to provide  for over 50 vulnerable children across Edinburgh, we can’t thank him enough.

This Christmas 60% of the families we support are struggling to make ends meet, Cody’s generosity means their children will have presents to open this year”



We get help with extra sparkle for Families

30.11.2018 - 15:49

We help families with small children, but we also get help from these two local organisations who help us give a little extra bespoke sparkle to small children who usually get very little.

Kids Love Clothes collect the anonymised details of a child from us. A few days later they deliver literally bags of stuff to our office; beautifully laundered and pressed, and especially picked out for to suit that child.  They included shoes, these wonderful pink wellies pictured and even party clothes. Our Coordinators then take them to families who perhaps are newly arrived from places like Syria, or are living in Emergency accommodation, or simply don’t have warm winter clothes for their kids so they can’t play outside.

One mum said “It was like the clothes were tailored for them, everything fitted. It is so much easier knowing the children have lots of clothes to change into and I don’t have to keep washing the few outfits they have. I don’t need to use the washing machine every day so it saves electricity and saves me money. They don’t have to wear the same having the same stuff every day and they are not going out with clothes that are shredded at the knees or elbows.”

Another service that we love to use is Free Cakes For Kids, a brilliant organisation with an army of volunteer bakers who make personalised birthday cakes to order for children who would otherwise go without.

Their creations are magnificent, worthy of Great British Bake Off, like this stupendous Power Puff Girls cake that we delivered this week. It is like a work of art!

If you want to bake or have clothes or time to give to these wonderful organisations, please get in touch with them