Young at heart positive role models are needed to buddy up with children in care in the Fenland area

Norfolk Independent Visitors Service looking for positive role models to befriend teenagers in care

Norfolk Independent Visitors Service looking for positive role models to befriend teenagers in care - Credit: Archant

Positive, young-at-heart role model volunteers are needed to make a long term difference to the lives of young people in care in the Fenland area.

Action for Children is looking for volunteers to befriend young people in care to give them a chance to learn how to build positive relationships.

Tracey Kean, of the charity’s Norfolk Independent Visitor Service, said: “These children have suffered abuse, neglect and often both.

“Our service helps give them the opportunity to experience positive relationships which hopefully will give them a chance to build a positive life for themselves.

“We usually help youngsters up to the age of 22 but sometimes these friendships can last a lot longer.


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“In the case of our most successful story the young woman is now 30, with a child of her own, and her volunteer, who was teamed up with her when she was just 11, is still very much in her life.

“Many of these young people have understandably learnt to mistrust adults and life in general.

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“The Independent Visitor Service aims to give them back a sense of trust and also learn how to have good relationships for life.

“It can make a really big difference to them.”

Volunteers might take them out for trips like bowling, cinema, beach trips, dog walks and meals and are strictly vetted with police checks and a series of interviews.

Tracy said: “Myself and a colleague recently visited Wisbech to visit two young people in care who have been referred to us by their social worker.

“At the moment we have several young people in the Wisbech, March and King’s Lynn areas, but unfortunately no volunteers to pair them up with.”

• Volunteers must be over the age of 21.

• Age is not a barrier, the oldest volunteer is currently a man in his 60s. It’s more important to have a friendly, positive and youthful outlook.

• Volunteers must commit to at least two years.

• Volunteers must be reliable, stable and committed.

• The minimum visiting commitment is once a month.

If you are interested please email independentvisitors.norfolk@actionforchildren.org.uk or call 01362 697537 or visit actionforchildren.org.uk.

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