Our Family Befrienders provide whole family support to families facing multiple hardships which may include, mental health, family relationships, finances, and isolation. Family Befrienders offer a listening ear and take the time to learn about the problems and experiences of a family. Through respect, encouragement and support, they aim to help families discover their strengths, build confidence and resolve difficulties. As well as providing much needed emotional support, they help our families on a practical level too. A volunteer may introduce a family to community resources, find out about relevant social benefits, visit the local park with them or give support around parenting. They do not offer home-help or baby-sitting services.
Volunteers meet with their family for a few hours either weekly or fortnightly for a period of 6-12 months.
Support might be:
- Helping parents to take their child(ren) on days out
- Helping parents to find local resources, e.g., library, nursery, GP
- Having a chat over a cup of tea
- Helping to fill in forms
“I find it difficult to trust people, but I have been able to open up to Mark. He really understands me”
How do we work?
At Family Friends we carefully recruit, train and match volunteers to families. Our volunteers meet their family outside the home for a few hours either weekly or fortnightly. We offer long-term help based on each family’s unique needs and potential. Volunteers pledge a minimum six month commitment and Family Friends’ staff back up their work with on-going supervision.
“My initial assessment could not have gone better. I had a home visit from two lovely volunteer co-ordinators who explained about the support that I was due to receive”
What do families gain?
Since Family Friends was set up in 1993, we have assisted hundreds of families. Parents grow in confidence and build better lives for their children. Many start using local facilities like nurseries and parenting groups. Parents return to education, go back to work or take up volunteering opportunities. Some become representatives on local community programmes. Children socialise, play and learn. They join community clubs and take up new interests. Many develop academically and improve behaviour.
“Susan brings a smile to all our faces”