Supporting the younger generation

Funding level: Up to £1,000

Submitted by: Arthur J. Gallagher


Our project provides volunteers called "Older Friends" who after DBS and other checks receive training including safeguarding, and are carefully matched on a 121 basis with a disadvantaged child, and commit to spending a minimum of 2/3 hours a week with the child called "Younger Friend" away from their home environment. Our "Older Friends" agree to volunteer for a minimum period of six months, though some have volunteered with the same child for many years.

This builds trust improves self esteem, and gives encouragement and allows the disadvantaged children who are referred to us to have some fun too, which can sometimes be sadly lacking in their lives.

Disadvantaged children are referred to us via Children's services or through the CAF system via local schools, this is usually as a result of their own or their family circumstances, or that of their siblings, being disadvantaged. This maybe for instance a child with parent in prison, only one or no parents, or sibling seriously disabled, or school referral as a result of bullying, or low self esteem. It can also be because the child has an emotional need/disability, or behavioural or failure to thrive issues identified by their school or social worker. This can cause them to have problems with relationships and achievements in school or at home, which can be challenging for all concerned. Intervention, personal attention and support can help prevent escalation. The challenges such a child faces can manifest itself in being withdrawn, with lack of confidence, and low self esteem, and general unhappiness, which means that they will fail to thrive and develop, and can have long term repercussions both physically and emotionally. This causes ramifications to the child and frequently into adulthood, as well as their families, carers, fellow pupils, and teachers and society as a whole.

We obtain feedback of the benefits our support has given from the referring agency, and in addition undertake direct reviews with the children and their carers and families too. Our website has examples of the way in which the Friendship Project has helped to support disadvantaged children in Warwickshire .

Friendship Project

Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

I have been a trustee for 30 years, and am very proud that the organisation has helped support circa 1,500 disadvantaged children, and for the many volunteers that have helped the children to improve their self esteem, have fun, and gain new safe experiences not otherwise available to them.
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