If you are a parent on your own then it is likely you have to juggle with many demands on your time and energy. You may have practical concerns about housing and finances or one of your children may be going through a troubled patch.
No matter how competent you are, it can be very difficult being the only adult bringing up a family. The scheme we offer may be able to help.
FUN In Action for Children ("FUN In Action") is a registered charity set up in September 1999 as a voluntary befriending scheme for children growing up in lone parent families. It currently operates in Brighton and Hove and the surrounding area.
We set up lasting friendships between children and adults from outside the family. We refer to the adults who work for us as ‘befrienders’. If you had a befriender for your child he or she would call regularly once a week and take your child out for an outing usually for on average 3 hours. Outings are agreed between the befriender and the child or young person and can be anything that both agree is enjoyable. It isn’t about providing the child with lots of treats or presents but building up a close friendship, very much as you or I might have had when we were young with a kindly elderly neighbour or a special teacher. The idea is that the child gets another adult in their lives who they can talk to and who shows over time that they care about them and can be trusted to stay around even if there are difficulties. You as a parent also get a break and a chance to recharge your batteries.
Befrienders are not paid, they volunteer because they want to offer some direct help where it is needed. Because we believe that having a close friendships can make a difference to how children feel about themselves, and because it takes time for people to really become good friends, we ask befrienders to make a 2-year commitment to the child they befriend. This may seem a lot but in our experience people who are serious about being a befriender understand the need for something long-term and are willing to make that commitment.
We are a voluntary not a statutory organisation. This means you always have a choice about whether to join us and use the services we offer. It also means that you are key partners in any decisions we make. If you did decide to ask us to find a befriender for your child the decision as to who it would be would be one we would make together. If you were not happy with the person we recommend we would listen to you and look again together at who else might be suitable. Once your child has a befriender and throughout the time you are involved with the organisation we will want to know what you think about things and will take seriously your suggestions and any concerns you have.