With demand for their services growing, local children’s charity, Befriend a Child, have launched a new appeal to find new befrienders and mentors.

In the wake of COVID-19, more children and young people are greatly in need of a befrienders or mentors, the charity is committed to ensuring it can support those most in need in the local community. 

They are now looking for kind, caring and reliable people to bring fun, positivity, and new experiences to the lives of children and young people across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. Befriend a Child provides volunteers with full training and support, so volunteers don’t need to have any previous experiences working with children.

Befriend a Child receives referrals from a number of sources including Education, Social Work, Health and Third Sector partners.

“Children are deeply affected by social isolation, parental substance use, and parental mental health. Currently we have 50 children in need of a befriender or mentor, and we’d love to get them matched so volunteers can start making a real difference to their lives” – Jean Gordon, Head of Operations, Befriend a Child.

Volunteers will meet the child on a one-to-one basis and give them the support and attention they may not be getting at home. These outings help the children and young people with their self-esteem and confidence and give them experiences they may be unable to have otherwise. Befrienders meet with the children twice a month and mentors meet on a weekly basis.

It’s not just the children who benefit from the relationship through befriending and mentoring, the volunteers also feel they gain a great deal from the experience. Befriender Craig started has been working with Befriend a Child in 2001.

“Befriending is the biggest achievement of my life, knowing I’ve been a positive influence in someone’s life whilst creating some fantastic memories and experiences. I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a great way to add sunshine into your own life as well as doing the same for others. Many of these children just simply need a friend and so it’s not what you do that is important but the fact that you are doing something together."- Craig Duncan, volunteer befriender.

If you want to help a local child, make sure to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or visit www.befriendachild.org.uk to find out more.