Fun in Action continues to be a sector leader in terms of the wide range of backgrounds from which our volunteers come. This makes the service we provide even stronger. At present around 25% of our befrienders are from the LGBT community, about a third are over 50 years old and approximately 13% are from Black, Minority and Ethnic backgrounds. We also differ from some other befriending charities in that we positively encourage couples to come forward to befriend. Around 15% of our befrienders do so together as a couple.
Below is Rob's story. Along with partner Andy he's been befriending with Fun in Action for 5 years:
"Things are not always easy at home for the little lad we look after and he will often call us to talk when he's upset or angry, which is just so nice. To think that he has us to turn to when he needs someone and that he knows we will always listen to him and that he calls because he wants OUR advice on something, is unquantifiable. It makes you feel very special and feel as though you are really doing something worthwhile. We have gone on befriending our little boy for way after we were contracted to do, and we continue to see him every week because the relationship just grows closer the more time you spend together. How could we ever say goodbye now? I know we will be friends with our child, and his family, for the rest of our lives.
I love being a befriender, it is one of the best things I have ever done with my life! It has challenged me, made me learn, made me cry but made me laugh and smile a million times more. I now mentor troublesome teenagers at the school I work at and I tell all of them about our little lad. One of the most touching comments I ever got back - from a very difficult 16 year old - is that he wished he had someone like me, someone that had been just there for him. It is so sad that there are young people like this.
Befriending reduces the number of children that could potentially grow up to be difficult, but will not, because of the amazing relationship you form with the child you have been befriending. This service should be in every county and every town. Everyone I speak to about what we do says the same thing. They wished they had something like that where they were. It is just so beneficial from all angles. Anyone that has a heart knows that all children should have the chance of a happy childhood."
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a befriender with Fun in Action then please contact us.