A child smiling, two people jumping, and a woman drinking coffee

Georgina – matching volunteers with young people in care

Georgina works in the Independent Visiting Service team for Brighton & Hove City Council. In her role as an Independent Visitor Coordinator she matches volunteers with children and young people who are in care and have little or no contact with their families. Brighton & Hove Council currently have 60 active Independent Visitor volunteers.  

“Independent Visitors are ‘normal people’ who have some time to offer a child or young person. Whilst they don’t take on a parenting role, they are often able to provide a sense of ‘normal’ life to a young person who is living in a children’s home or who has moved between foster placements. They provide invaluable support, consistency and friendship which is independent of social services and other professionals who may be involved in the children’s lives. A really important aspect of the role is that children can choose whether or not to have an Independent Visitor, giving them a voice and control in the process.

In general, our Independent Visitors really do go the extra mile to support their young people. One regularly enters sponsored running events with her match, helping to raise money for great causes at the same time as developing fitness and a sense of togetherness. And another makes a point of seeing his young person on Christmas Day every year, knowing that the young person won’t see any of his family.

Our current volunteers have continued to provide remote support for their matched young people during lockdown, and have thought of some creative ways of staying in touch, such as cooking a recipe at the same time or watching an agreed film to then talk about afterwards. This support has been essential during such an uncertain time.

Our Independent Visitor volunteers come from all walks of life and bring an enormous variety of skills and experience to our service. They are invaluable to Brighton and Hove City Council.”

“Independent Visitors are ‘normal people’ who have some time to offer a child or young person. Whilst they don’t take on a parenting role, they are often able to provide a sense of ‘normal’ life to a young person who is living in a children’s home or who has moved between foster placements.”

“Independent Visitors are ‘normal people’ who have some time to offer a child or young person. Whilst they don’t take on a parenting role, they are often able to provide a sense of ‘normal’ life to a young person who is living in a children’s home or who has moved between foster placements.”

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