Professional Zone

Call for volunteers to befriend children in care in Lincolnshire

Posted date: 
04 Apr 17

Coram Voice is calling for volunteers in Lincolnshire to become ‘Independent Visitors’ and befriend and support children in care in the County. Those interested in volunteering are encouraged to come along to the charity’s information event in Boston on 12 April.

Coram Voice works in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council to provide an Independent Visiting service for children aged between 8 and 18 in the care of the local authority. Independent Visitors are volunteers who provide a reliable and consistent point of contact for a child who is isolated and has limited or no family contact.

The volunteers meet with a young person regularly, undertaking activities and outings to help them build their confidence and self-esteem. Activities can include bowling, the cinema or sports, depending on the age and interests of the young person. Volunteers are there to listen to any issues or concerns the young person wants to discuss.

Through the Independent Visiting service, volunteers enjoy the challenge and rewarding experience of building a lasting friendship with a child in care, and the children benefit greatly from a constant, fun relationship with someone independent from the care system.

Lynne*, a current Independent Visitor for Coram Voice said: “The activities we undertake have helped the young person I support to develop his self-confidence and most importantly to have lots of fun! A relationship is not developed overnight but big steps forward are made with every outing. I’ll never forget the time he said to me he’d had the ‘best day ever!’ To know you’re making a difference, no matter how big or small to the young person’s life is a wonderful thing.”

Another volunteer, Belinda* added: “We talk about friends, family, school, the future, exams, football and everything in between! He knows that I will listen and not judge and can share whatever is on his mind without fear of upset or trouble. It’s a chance to make a positive contribution. I know that my young person eventually won’t need me and when that day comes I will be so proud of the young adult he will have become.”

Coram Voice is hosting an information event for those in Lincolnshire who feel they have the time and energy to devote to a child in care and would like to find out more about volunteering to be an Independent Visitor. The event takes place 6.30-8.30pm on 12 April at the Boston Body Hub Gym, 20 Wide Bargate, Boston, Lincolnshire PE21 6RF. For more information, please contact Kim Scott on 07940 754266 or kim.scott@coramvoice.org.uk.

Independent Visiting is a long-term, one to one commitment. Volunteers must be over 18 and will be subject to enhanced police checks. Full training and ongoing support will be given, and out of pocket expenses will be paid for mileage and activities.

Find out more about the Independent Visiting Service here.