What we do

Friends of the Family works with families and children who are overwhelmed by family life. We offer friendly support and guidance to help them overcome the challenges they face.

Why we do it

We are a small independent charity, established over 20 years ago. We work in Winchester and its surrounding villages.

Our aim is to improve the life chances of local children and families, who are struggling and unable to cope with day-to-day family life.

Our purpose is to offer a safe and nurturing environment where children and their families can learn to help themselves and focus on building a healthy family life for the future.

Our guiding principles:

  • we facilitate the emotional, social and physical development of children from struggling families
  • we help parents to help themselves by discovering their own strengths and further developing a range of parenting and life skills
  • we respect and offer sustained emotional support to families, which complements the provision of other local services.
Toddler
60 %
of children we supported through our 5s to 13s befriending service said they were happier than before Friends of the Family began working with them*
Quotes - Winchester charity
  • “Before we had a Friends of the Family volunteer we had little support with the problems that our child has and the impact that has on our whole family. We feel greatly more supported and have received a lot of beneficial advice. We are truly grateful for all the support we receive from our volunteer.”

    Rachel, 5s to 13s mum

What we offer

Our approach is based on getting involved early in the life of a family that is experiencing difficulties, in order to improve their family outlook. The unique support we provide to families and children aged 0-13 years is delivered through four key areas of work:

Mother and child Winchester

Mums and under 5s >

A group offering mums and pre-school children a twice-weekly professional support service

5s to 13s befriending >

Trained volunteers offer confidential support in the home, to children aged between 5 and 13 and their families

Support for Dads in Winchester

Support for dads >

One-to-one counselling service offering reassurance to men who are struggling with their role as a parent

Counselling >

Weekly counselling sessions offering complementary support and guidance to parents who are engaged with our other services

We work closely with other local family services. Families and children are referred from a range of organisations: Hampshire Children’s Services, health visitors, social workers, police, GPs, mental health workers, local schools, the prison and other charity support networks.

The difference we make

Families we work with frequently tell us the positive impact Friends of the Family has had on the lives of their children, the parents and family life as a whole.

Regular surveys of families using our services show that:

  • struggling families are less isolated and parents feel more confident in their parenting skills
  • family relationships are more emotionally stable
  • children feel supported and become more confident to develop social skills that improve their life chances
  • struggling families are empowered to be part of their wider community.

*Annual survey of 5s to 13s families, 2016

60 %
of parents we worked with felt that Friends of the Family provided them with opportunities to talk about their concerns*
Volunteers needed, Hampshire

Want to get involved?

Email volunteer@fotfwinchester.org or call us on 01962 864466
We’d love to hear from you.