Our initial project was set up over 25 years ago to offer support to mums with young children. Over the years we have expanded our services and now run an additional two projects, namely our 5s to 13s Befriending Service and Support for Dads. We are also thrilled to be able to offer free one-to-one counselling for parents who are already engaging with us, a service which is provided by volunteer counsellors.
Our volunteers are positive role models who provide a listening ear, support and encouragement to a child who might be struggling at school or face problems within the home. Volunteers take the children out on bike rides, nature walks and play games in the park. They also spend time chatting to the parents who may be struggling with mental health issues, and supporting them, she said.
Praising the charity’s work, Revd Colman said:
Early intervention is crucial. With over 78,000 children currently in our care system, a number which has risen dramatically since lockdown according to Barnardos, enabling vulnerable families to stay together and flourish is ever more important. Friends of the Family, with proven wisdom and compassion, and a track record of excellent resources which they have developed, enable parents and children to flourish together. It is the sort of charity it would be great to be able to bottle up and replicate all over the place!
Chair of trustees, Karen Hazlitt, said:
It was a great honour to meet the High Sheriff. I would like to thank her for her genuine interest in Friends of the Family and in the work we do in relation to early years intervention in children’s lives.