Family Friends welcomes volunteers from all sections of the community. 65-75% of our volunteers are currently from a minority ethnic background and they range in age from 23 to 75 years. One family may want an older volunteer with direct parenting experience, while another may want someone young with whom they can relate. We carefully match families and volunteers based on skills, interests and personality rather than ethnic and cultural background, unless specifically requested by a family.

Feedback from Volunteers

All volunteers surveyed in a 2009 evaluation of Family Friends by the Charities Evaluation Services said they found their experience of befriending and mentoring with Family Friends rewarding:

I am so pleased that I chose Family Friends for my first foray into volunteering. It's a wonderful charity that makes a real difference to my local community. I think that the support team do a great job looking after the volunteers and I have been so impressed by the amount of time they have devoted to my friend and her family.

"I have realised that a small amount of befriending support can make a huge difference to an isolated person."

Carol's Story

I have always wanted to take up volunteering and felt that I was ready to take on the challenge and as I have a bit of life experience, could hopefully pass on in a positive way. I also want a career working with children and families, so see this as a way of gaining hands on practice.

I have been placed with a family for 10 months now, and mentor a bright and talented 11 year old girl. I have found it a rewarding experience and did not expect to learn so much as I have done. I support the girl by helping her with Maths homework, and generally injecting a bit of fun into her routine while being a sounding board for her if she needs to talk about anything. In return, she has opened my eyes to what it is like for children growing up in today’s environment and made me realise how it is totally different to the society I was brought up in. I go to visit her once a week for 2 hours and have done so many different activities, from abseiling to bowling, going to the library and a day out at Westfield Shopping Centre.

I will miss mentoring her when my time is up, but look forward to giving support to another child or adult that benefits from the fantastic service Family Friends provides to the community. I recommend that if you are somebody wanting to give something back to society, this is a brilliant way of doing it."