Sarah – befriending young people in care

Sarah – befriending young people in care

Sarah has been volunteering for nearly five years as an Independent Visitor for Brighton & Hove City Council. The role involves being matched with a young person in care and providing them with consistent support and safe, ‘neutral’ friendship.

“Before I retired, my job involved working with care leavers progressing to university. It was a job I really enjoyed and was keen to continue in some form. When I heard about the role of Independent Visitor from a colleague it sounded appealing. Then I saw an advert for the scheme locally and was pleased to be able to apply. I was adopted, which for me was a good experience, so I feel an affinity with the scheme.

Getting to know my young person has been a joy and it’s been great to see her grow in confidence over the last few years. She has a learning difficulty, which can be challenging, so it is satisfying that we have maintained a relationship. Unfortunately, she doesn’t find the idea of a walk very appealing, so we usually go shopping or for a meal.

The sessions are really a vehicle for chatting and developing a relationship. The most enjoyable aspect is the shared sense of a past and the funny things that happen that you can talk about. My most memorable experience was taking her to London with her £50 clothes allowance. We spent two hours in the Oxford Street Primark!

I find the role very fulfilling – there is definitely a ‘feel good’ factor. It sounds corny but I enjoy giving something back. I have done various volunteering roles all of which I have enjoyed, but this is the one that for me is particularly special.”

“Getting to know my young person has been a joy and it’s been great to see her grow in confidence over the last few years.”

“Getting to know my young person has been a joy and it’s been great to see her grow in confidence over the last few years.”

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