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Cardiff’s Children’s Services launches campaign to recruit volunteers

Cardiff’s Children’s Services is on the look-out for volunteers to become positive role models for children and young people in the city.

The Volunteer Befriending Scheme matches individuals with some spare time and the desire to give something back to their community with 7 to 18-year-olds involved with Children’s Services, who would benefit for an external positive influence in their lives.

Volunteer befrienders work with a young person on a one-to-one basis, providing support and encouragement. This could involve regularly engaging a young person in leisure or sports activities, encouraging them to develop their interests and hobbies or helping to build their confidence and self-esteem.

Volunteer befriender, Ben, says getting involved in the scheme not only helped the young person he worked with but enabled him to progress his career in social care.

Ben said: “I got involved in the befriending programme as I wanted to have a change in career and wanted to get into social care. After the initial training period of a few weeks, I was paired with a young person who experienced anxiety and didn’t get out in the community much.

“After meeting with them they told me how much they enjoyed trampolining, so I took them to a trampoline park once a week. As the weeks progressed, I noticed the young person become more confident and how they interacted with more young people during the sessions.

“I was fully supported by Martine during the whole process and would meet with her monthly to discuss how things were going. Since doing the volunteering I have secured a full time post as a support worker in the social care sector.”

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Ash Lister, said: “Becoming a volunteer befriender can be incredibly rewarding and the positive impact that person can have on a child or young person’s life can be tremendous.

“The children and young people will all have a case worker and may have families that require special help. They may have emotional, educational, or other specific needs so we’re looking for patient, reliable people who are good listeners and can offer encouragement to make a real difference to children and young people’s lives.”

Volunteers must be able to commit to the project for at least 6 months and ideally be able to spend a few hours with their young person every other week or fortnight.

Befrienders will require an enhanced DBS check, two references and participation in a training programme. All costs, including travel and activity expenses, will be reimbursed.

If you would like to volunteer for the befriender scheme or would like more information, please email Martine: [email protected]