Develops a trusting friendship with a child aged between 5 and 13 years, providing sustained emotional and practical support in tackling challenges they and their family are facing. Our befrienders spend two hours a week with a focus child in their own home.
They work to form positive relationships with all family members, drawing on their own experiences to build the confidence of the focus child and family – ultimately encouraging them to find their own way of resolving their difficulties.
The chance to transform the life of a local child and their family. You will receive an initial two-day training course, with further ongoing training opportunities, continuing support and weekly supervision, invitations to volunteer get-togethers, and paid travel expenses. Find out what our volunteers say.
Volunteers must be aged 23 or over. Applicants to the role are subject to an interview, DBS and references check.
Mum, Sarah, was struggling with her seven-year old son Tom’s behaviour. He was swearing and using inappropriate language in the family home. The volunteer befriender helped Tom and his mum to discover some new behaviour strategies. With a reward system to reinforce his positive behaviour, Tom’s behaviour improved and Sarah became more confident in her parenting. She also reported that their relationship is more positive because of the support that they were given from the befriender.
When Megan, aged 10, was referred to us she had very low self-esteem and lacked self-confidence, especially in social situations. Through discussions with her and her mother, Megan revealed that she wanted to go swimming; however it was impossible for her mum to arrange this for her because of the logistics of getting her and her younger siblings to the swimming pool as Megan’s mum wasn’t able to drive. The volunteer was able to help facilitate weekly swimming lessons at the local leisure centre. As a direct result, Megan was chosen to swim for her school in an inter-schools competition as she was the only child in her year who could swim all four strokes. This really gave Megan the boost she needed.