Local charity Children First Derby have been successful in securing 3 years of funding from Children in Need and the Henry Smith Foundation to continue with 2 of their key programmes ;
- Mentoring of Young People,and
- Family Support Service.
Apart from the good news that many children and families will continue to be supported in the City it also opens up 25+ new volunteering opportunities.
Volunteers can come from all walks of life, and all ages, and with a variety of educational, professional and social backgrounds – there is no need for a specific social/child care background. Many existing volunteers work full time and manage their support in the evenings or weekends. All volunteers are supervised and supported by a professionally qualified member of staff, and all expenses are fully covered. Volunteering isn’t necessarily just a solitary activity – Children First arrange social events so the volunteers can feel part of the wider team.
The Mentoring of Young People service is for those who are typically referred to Children First by the school. This could be for a wide range of reasons ; poor behaviour, problems at home, bereavement, school issues, self-esteem, social isolation etc. Although specific outcomes will be agreed from the outset, invariably one of the general values of the engagement is the interaction with a positive role model.
The meetings of Mentor and Mentee are outside of school hours and away from the home, and are activity based. The commitment from the volunteers is around 2hrs / fortnight for a minimum 6 month period.
The Family Support Service can also be helping on a wide spectrum of issues e.g. women fleeing domestic violence, social isolation, parenting skills, managing finance, nutrition etc. The volunteer support is around 2hrs/ week, for a minimum 6 months commitment, and usually takes place in the home of the family.
All volunteers are fully trained and inducted, at times suitable to them ( so can accommodate people’s working/family commitments) and subject to an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Police check. Safeguarding is central to everything that the charity is involved in as well as carrying out full risk assessments for all activities.
These services are all about early intervention, and the success is that the people being helped can avoid being referred to social services and incurring the cost and time associated with that.
The charity is very active in the community, with fundraising, so they can be as self-sufficient as possible. It also means that they can be more flexible in the service they provide, and can make choices to provide discretionary help and assistance.
For Christmas they will be providing presents to all of the children and families that they are involved with, most of which are from generous donations by local businesses , including a group at Royal Derby Hospital.
There are some great opportunities to join a very professional charity and make a real difference to someone’s life.
Categories: Charity issues