Community News From Around Our Area

Male Volunteers Needed at Warwickshire Children’s Charity

The Friendship Project for Children is looking for male volunteers to befriend boys between the ages of 6 – 16 in need of some extra support. The volunteers need to have access to a car and be able to take the boys out and provide some undivided attention once a week, for 2 – 3 hours.

All volunteers have Safeguarding and Child Protection training and their own Area Co-ordinator to support and advise them. Volunteers are matched with a boy that has similar interests to them, and the emphasis is to have fun, with the knock-on effect/consequence that their young person’s self confidence and self-esteem improves. The safeguarding and support of our volunteers and our young people are paramount to the charity.

“We are fortunate to have many female volunteers apply to volunteer with us – and we match them with both girls and boys. However, we always have more referrals from children’s services for boys but not enough male volunteers to support them. It would be great to have more male volunteers to match with our boys. The activities that could be enjoyed during the friendships are endless – a walk in the park, kicking a ball around, painting, baking, cinema trips, bike rides, climbing walls, and all generally involve food, but the ‘Older’ and ‘Younger Friends’ can decide together what works for them,” said Heather Shipley, Area Co-ordinator, Stratford district.

Applicants will go through our strict interview process and provide two character references. Volunteers are required to apply for an Enhanced DBS certificate (criminal records check), which is paid for by the Charity. Induction and Safeguarding training are given to all volunteers on an ongoing basis.

An existing male volunteer at the Friendship Project reports, “I have wanted to do something like working with the Friendship project for years, but have always put it off, or to be honest, been too worried to volunteer for Safeguarding reasons. Over the last year, I have looked at what makes me happy and helping others makes me happy; so, I applied and thought I would see what happened. It is truly a fantastic idea for both the volunteer and child. The charity is run very well, with quality, prompt support when needed. The idea of taking someone else’s child out for a few hours seems strange to most and I didn’t really see how only spending a few hours each week could be of benefit. But my younger friend tells me he now has a best friend and that he has never really felt like he had one before. I can now see the difference I am making”.

If you would like to volunteer with The Friendship Project for Children visit friendshipproject.co.uk/about/how-you-can-help/ or follow them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook at @friendshipproj.