With demand for their services ever-growing, local children’s charity, Befriend a Child, has launched an appeal to find new befrienders and mentors in Aberdeenshire.

They are looking for kind, caring and reliable people to bring fun, positivity, and new experiences to the lives of children and young people across communities such as Inverurie, Westhill, Newburgh and Stonehaven.

Befriend a Child’s waitlist is ever-growing, with a current waitlist of 51 children meaning they are in desperate need of volunteer befrienders and mentors for local children and young people growing up in challenging life circumstances.

Jean Gordon, Head of Operations at Befriend a Child, said: “Unfortunately, as soon as we match a child with a volunteer, we receive another referral, and we just don’t have enough volunteers to keep up with the demand for our services. Children can be referred to us for a host of different reasons such as social isolation, lack of a positive role model and substance misuse in the family.”

Each volunteer receives full training and support from our experienced team, so volunteers don’t need to have any previous experience working with children.

The charity asks volunteers to take their matched child on outings that are fun and engaging, once every two weeks for befriending and once a week for mentoring, with a minimum commitment of a year.

It’s not just the children who benefit from the relationship, the volunteers also feel they gain a great deal from the experience. Lisa Harris has been a volunteer befriender for the past two years and her relationship with her befriendee Olivia has gone from strength to strength.

Lisa said: “I can’t recommend befriending enough. It is such a worthwhile voluntary role, and you get so much out of it yourself. To be a constant and confidant for a child especially if they are going through a difficult time, is so vital but it also gives you such a sense of purpose. It really is the best thing I have done.”

Many of the children and young people enjoy visits to the beach, the cinema, walks in the park and helping them learn new skills, build their confidence, whilst improving their well-being and building a positive relationship with an adult role model.

Jean continued: “I have seen first-hand the positive impact our volunteers make on the children and young people we support. By becoming a volunteer with us you will be making a huge difference to a local child's life.”

For more information about volunteering with Befriend a Child, email volunteer@befriendachild.org.uk or visit Befriend a Child’s website at https://www.befriendachild.org.uk/Listing/Category/volunteer-with-us

More like this…

View all