Some real stories about people involved with FUN In Action.
When his wife died 5 years ago Peter was left in very poor health and with 5 year old Mark to bring up alone. At first Peter was wary of trusting a stranger with his son but he eventually decided to give Fun in Action a chance. Mark was matched with Rosie whose own children had grown up and left home and who missed having grandchildren around. Five years on Rosie is still befriending and still enjoying her relationship with Mark. She has been a regular supportive presence in their lives and now neither Dad nor Mark can imagine life without her.
Mark tells us: "I like my friend very much because she always says, 'Come on horror'. She is nice and says good things and when I swim she helps me"
Three years ago Marie’s teacher referred to her as "a rather odd, obsessive child, extremely isolated and unable to play or relate well to the other girls". It was thought that this could be linked to Marie's mother's mental health problems. Now having been befriended for just over 3 years by Beth, a young and confident career woman, Marie’s life is much improved. Most of her fearfulness (and with it her obsessive behaviour) has gone and she joins in with the other girls and is no longer teased.
You can watch a video clip about Darren's friendship with Hayley by clicking here.
You can watch a video clip about Chris' friendship with Ralph by clicking here.
James and Bobby are two little boys who live with their mother and two younger sisters. Their father has no contact with the family following past domestic violence and there is no extended family to provide support. Mother is exceptionally kind and caring but felt overwhelmed trying to meet the need of her 4 children single-handed. When the family were referred mother was exhausted and depressed and rarely got a break. The boys have quite different needs so a separate befriender was very carefully chosen for each child. Things are much better for the family now, each little boy gets special one to one time with his befriender every week and mum gets a well-earned rest.
Laura is a sweet girl with a speech impediment. She tends to be clumsy and lacks confidence and this isolates her from her peer group. His mother has a long-term inoperative illness, which makes her very tired and unable to provide all the opportunities for play that Laura needs to develop. 18 months ago we matched Laura with Joan, an older and very experienced volunteer befriender whose own children have grown up and who has the time, skills and patience to offer Laura the extra attention she needs. She also provides a listening ear for Laura to talk about her worries about her mother’s ill health. Laura and Joan get along famously; her confidence has grown and she is getting on better at school.
Michael was referred by his school. He has two younger sisters who see their birth father regularly but Michael has no contact with his own dad. He is a highly intelligent boy but needy and wanting very much to be accepted by the males in his peer group. His mother was concerned for him but felt she could not provide the additional male input that he needed to feel secure in his identity. Twelve months ago we matched Michael with a 32-year Simon who has been able to provide the positive role model Michael so desperately needed.