Saturday, 15 December 2012
Friendship Project: Become a Big Brother or Sister this Christmas
I was inspired to write this post when I realised how many people are without any friends or family over Christmas. There is something everyone can do to help with that. For example, friends of mine are hosting a Christmas lunch for people from our church and local community who are alone on Christmas day. Others are volunteering at homeless shelters. My suggestion is perhaps starting a tradition or a project that will continue to make a difference to those who are lonely, even after Christmas has gone. So, today’s post is about the Friendship Project.
The Project is based on the Big Brother – Big Sister movement in America. It was established here in the UK in 1986, and since then they have now helped around 1,000 children. The Friendship Project is active in Southam, Warwick, Stratford, Rugby, Atherstone, Nuneaton. The Friendship Project for Children is a registered charity supported by the Social Services of Warwickshire. They receive grants from various charities, trusts and commercial organisations.
The scheme matches a referred child, the ‘Younger Friend’, with a volunteer, the ‘Older Friend’. The Older Friend will provide care and interest for 2 to 3 hours a week. Friendship Project organises a series of checks to ensure the Older Friend is suitable. Usually the Younger Friend is referred to the Project by Social Services or the child’s school. There also must have the agreement of the child’s parents or carers. The children that the Friendship Project help are aged between 6 and 16. The befriender must be over 18 years of age.
So, how can you help? Well, you can donate via PayPal, or if you know you would like to help make a difference to a child’s life – someone who would benefit from a guiding influence – then complete this application form and return it to the Friendship Project.