George has mentored three boys through Family Friends. He describes his volunteering as a ‘win-win’ situation.
I was introduced to Family Friends nearly four years ago. It was perfect timing; I had been looking for a fulfilling challenge to do in my spare time and I have not looked back since becoming involved. I have been fortunate enough to work with three lovely families and met some great people along the way.
Before I started, I briefly wondered if my weekly visits could end up becoming a bit of a chore after a while, but I couldn't have been more mistaken. I look forward to them every week and consider it a privilege to not only be able to help, but to be trusted and valued in the role.
The training and support from Family Friends has played a crucial role for me not just in my volunteering - without it I would not have had the confidence or experience to help a family - but I have also been able to apply some of the skills and techniques that I’ve learnt to my personal life.
One of the main lessons I have learnt is never to underestimate the value of my visits for either the family or myself. It doesn't seem a lot, after all it is only two hours per week, but I know that sometimes by simply being there I am appreciated even though at the time it might not always feel like it! Even on the odd visit when it hasn’t been easy, I have always come away feeling better for it.
I know I have made a difference to the families I have worked with and I have benefited in many ways too. You could say it's been a win-win situation for the families and for me.