Family Friends was set up in 1993 to support disadvantaged families. Through a network of trained volunteers we provide befriending services to families living in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster, and Brent.
We offer two services to the families we support:
- Family Befriending - Whole family support for families facing multiple hardships which may include, mental health, family relationships, finances, and isolation. Our volunteers meet with their family for a few hours either weekly or fortnightly for a period of 6-12 months.
- Big Buddies - Our Big Buddies volunteers support young people aged 10-18 for a few hours weekly or fortnightly over a period of 3-6 months.
Family Friends carefully recruits, trains and matches volunteers with families. Volunteers offer long-term practical and emotional support based on each family's unique needs and potential.
What difference do we make?
At final assessment, over 95% of families report improvements as a result of the service with 100% rating the service ‘Good’ to ‘Great’. Our outcomes show that we build confidence in parenting and parent/child relationships and that we reduce isolation. We promote emotional and physical health in families and improve access to health and community services. Our mentors introduce greater stability into children’s lives and give academic support. They also build aspirations and plan for economic improvements.
Why is our service needed?
The kind of individual, flexible service we offer complements statutory services, which are often only able to provide time-limited interventions in response to crisis situations. Family Friends is able to offer a long-term commitment based on each family's unique needs and potential. We aim to facilitate positive changes in people's lives, but we do not have to achieve 'outcomes' within tight time constraints.