Summer is finally here! And for most of us it’s the start of the holiday season – sun, sea and sand with trips away! But have you ever considered that for some children, holidays are simply out of the question?
Here at the Friendship Project, we work with many vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are unable to get a break – they may be caring for a sick parent or limited where they can go on holiday because of a disabled sibling or other family member. For some children, even playing in the park or going to the cinema are a rare treat.
But you can help. Our volunteers, who are known as ‘older friends’ are matched with a child in need (the ‘younger friend’) and they take them out on a weekly basis for 1-to-1 activities. Just a few hours a week can make such a difference to a child’s life and the outings don’t need to be elaborate – it’s the time spent with the child that really counts.
Having some time out from often difficult home situations really does improve the child’s self-esteem and self-worth and our volunteers report that they too enjoy spending time knowing that they are really making a difference to a child’s life.
So, if you find yourself with a few hours to spare a week and are looking for a worthwhile volunteer role working with children, we would love to hear from you.
The project currently works with around 50 children locally and we also meet up regularly for group activities – recent outings have included a trip to Brandon Marsh nature centre and the Snowdome.
Volunteers must be over 18, have access to a car and be prepared to commit to the project for a minimum of 6 months. We will also require 2 references and will need to carry out an enhanced DBS check. We offer training and guidance and we reimburse expenses and mileage.