Friends of the Family has trained five new volunteers to befriend a local child. Stephanie, Mike, Sally, Bev and Jackie all successfully completed the two-day training course on 6th and 13th May and will soon be spending two hours a week offering support and friendship to a child aged between five and 13.
The training course is run by Friends of the Family’s 5s to 13s Befriending Service which, thanks to Big Lottery funding, is able to support children and families across the Winchester district who are facing challenging circumstances. During the two days, volunteers received expert tuition on the befriending role, learning about safeguarding, boundaries, confidentiality and the current issues that children may face. Volunteers also received a communications and listening skills presentation from guest speaker Kevin Knight and met Karen Roberts, a current 5s to 13s volunteer befriender, who shared her volunteering experiences.
Commenting on the training, new volunteer Bev said:
I really enjoyed the training session. It was a lovely small group and the trainer was very knowledgeable and reassuring. It definitely made me feel excited about volunteering for Friends of the Family.
When asked why she applied to volunteer she added:
I wanted to volunteer and get more involved with the wider community. Having previously worked with children, this seemed like a good fit for me and I hope to be able to provide support to a child and their family who could use a friend.
Sam Hunt, 5s to 13s Befriending Manager, said:
We are really pleased to have new volunteers who are ready to befriend a local child in need of support and friendship. Their role is vitally important to so many families living in the Winchester district. It’s good to know that we have five more volunteers who are ready to make a positive difference to a child’s life.
Friends of the Family will be running another befriender training course in the autumn. Anyone over the age of 23, who enjoys spending time with children, is welcome to apply. Volunteers must be available for two hours a week, either after school or at the weekend, for 12 months.
Volunteers receive free training, regular supervision, paid travel expenses, opportunities for further training and invitations to volunteer get-togethers. Please contact Lisa Travers on 01962 864466 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Photo: Pictured at the May training are new 5s to 13s volunteers (from L to R) Mike, Sally, Bev, Stephanie and Jackie.