Local children’s charity Befriend a Child launch project to provide extra support to families in need

Befriend a Child support children growing up in difficult life circumstances in Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire through 1:1 and group befriending and mentoring programmes and projects. During the pandemic, the charity recognised that many of the families of the children part of their programmes could sometimes do with some extra support, so they launched their Family Support Project to help.

“During Covid-19 many of families of the children we support were struggling. As a charity we’re always looking for ways we can reach out and extend our support, so we identified an opportunity to help them by launching our family support project. Working together, we identify wellbeing needs and agree goals with the whole family.” – Jean Gordon, Head of Operations, Befriend a Child

Since the success of their initial pilot project, Befriend a Child have been able to recruit a Family Support Co-ordinator, Louise Coleman, who is working directly with the parents and carers of befriended and mentored children, providing help and a listening ear to the families who need it.

The Family Support Co-ordinator will support families through providing advice and guidance on a range of subjects from self-care and parenting through to finances and benefits. The charity will carry out research into supporting families in local areas which could include community groups to join or organisations to refer to, they will also provide information on local foodbanks and other services.

In addition to this, Befriend a Child will also provide care packages for families who are experiencing financial hardship. These care packages can include cleaning products, hygiene products, homework kits, arts and crafts, and clothing. Family Support Co-ordinator Louise will also assist families with applying for additional support, including school clothing and energy assistance grants.

“I am looking forward to working with a charity that is known for the amazing work they do with local children. I am delighted to have the opportunity to provide tailored support for families and recognising the individual needs and challenges of each. Supporting families in an empowering way to promote independence and growth.” – Louise Coleman, Family Support Co-ordinator

Befriend a Child’s Family Support Project has been very kindly sponsored by ACVO, Apache, and Inspiring Scotland. For more information about Befriend a Child and the work the charity does in the local community, visit their website here www.befriendachild.org.uk.