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Befriending

Most of our young carers benefit from regular 1-to-1 support.  Befriending provides that - and lots more besides.  It can be a challenging, yet incredibly rewarding role.  Most of all though, it's usually really good fun!

 

By matching a young carer with a volunteer friend, who they will meet outside the home on a regular basis, we hope to reduce any feelings they may have of isolation, tiredness, loneliness and worry - and improve their confidence, so they build more resilience within their caring role.  Through experience we know this support can help the whole family in the long term.

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"I'm having the greatest time talking to my befriender.  Thank you for everything".

Young Carer aged 13

"She's always talking about her befriender and what they do and talk about together - it's made a difference to her life"

Mum and 'Cared for'

"We went ice skating.  She loved it and wants to go again. Great, considering she didn't want to go at all a month ago - it's a great feeling!"

Befriender

"It feels like I've always had someone there to listen and to take me out and have fun - I don't think about what it was like before"

Young Carer aged 12

Be reliable, caring and organised

Be over 21 and a driver

Manage a small monthly budget

Initiate activities that both you and the carer can enjoy

Write a short regular befriender's diary

Have training and ongoing supervision

Have all expenses paid

The befriender and young carer will take part in mutually agreed activities together, and the befriender will always have time to sit, chat and listen.  With befriending we are providing the type of support many young carers put at the top of their list of needs - having a friend who is there just for them, and most importantly understands what it's like to be a young carer.

 

What volunteers like about Befriending is that it's very flexible - meet-ups can be arranged when both carer and befriender are available - week evenings after school, Saturdays or Sundays - and at any time in school holidays.  It's just  a minimum of 8 hours a month, on a flexible weekly basis.  

As a Befriender you will . . .

You don't need any previous experience working with young carers to become a befriender.  The best befrienders are friendly, fun and always thinking of new things to do.  They accept a child or young person just as they are, and encourage them to develop their own interests and find their own solutions in life.  A befriender has positive attitudes, life experiences and skills to share with a young person.  They know when to provide advice and guidance, and when it's better just to listen.

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