Ready to take the next step? Find out more about becoming an Older Friend and make a difference to a child’s life.
- We recruit and manage volunteers to be ‘Older Friends’ to take out a ‘Younger Friend’ on a regular basis for 2 – 3 hours
- Our volunteers must:
- Live in or near Warwickshire
- Enjoy being with and relating to children
- Be over 18 years old and a car owner
- Be able to provide a minimum commitment of 6 months
- Our volunteers need to:
- Complete an application form and be able to supply 2 character references
- Apply for an Enhanced DBS check online (paid for by The Friendship Project)
- Attend Safeguarding training
- Work within the Project’s Child Protection Policy as Safeguarding of Children and Young People (and our volunteers) is paramount to the work of the Friendship Project
The role of Older Friend includes:
- Relating to the Younger Friend in an appropriate way, given his or her age, level of understanding, past experience and present situation
- Building a one to one relationship, based on trust and mutual respect
- Acting as a positive role model for the Younger Friend
- Primarily you are a friend who listens, supports and has fun outings with the Younger Friend
Our Code of Conduct/Work Ethic/Values
- Have a positive attitude, be tolerant and understanding
- Good communication skills
- Be able to work in an open and honest way
- Be reliable and consistent
- Take pride in your job and be a good role model
- Value, support and respect each other
- Confidentiality is of paramount importance
- Work together for the good of The Friendship Project
- Honesty and integrity underpin everything we do
What support do I have as a volunteer?
We want you to feel part of the team and you will have an Area Co-ordinator who supports your friendship. We offer training and regular Get Together’s for all volunteers to meet the rest of the Operations Team and other volunteers.
Can I volunteer if I can’t drive?
We need our volunteers to drive and have their own car as some of our children live in surrounding villages and public transport is not regularly accessible.
What is the minimum age that you can volunteer?
From the age of 18 and our oldest volunteer is 83 years old!
I already have an Enhanced DBS, do I have to apply for another one?
Yes, each organisation needs to apply for an Enhanced DBS for each volunteer. You will need to apply online and we pay for this application.
Can I take my Younger Friend home to my house?
After you have been friends for a few months, you may like to take your younger friend home, especially if the weather is not good. All adults over the age of 18 that live in your house will need to apply for an Enhanced DBS (as above).
Can my own children come on the outings?
The aim of the Project is to provide a young person with 1-2-1 attention and support from our volunteers. Once you are comfortable with your friendship, please speak to your Area Co-ordinator about this.
Can I claim back expenses for my Younger Friend’s activities?
Yes, we allow you to claim back £12 per week for your younger friend’s expenses.
Can I claim back expenses for my expenditure?
No, we are unable to reimburse you for your own expenditure.
Do I need to tell you about our outings?
Yes please! We ask that every volunteer completes an Expenses form every month (even if they are not claiming expenses). We are then able to see what outings you are enjoying together and this information is very useful for justifying funding applications.
Can I claim back car parking and mileage?
Yes, please keep your car parking receipts and mileage can be claimed at 40p per mile.
Which areas do you operate in?
We are active Warwickshire wide: Alcester, Atherstone, Leamington Spa, Kenilworth, Nuneaton, Rugby, Shipston, Stratford, Southam and Warwick.
What commitment do I need to give?
We ask for a minimum commitment of 6 months to befriend a child. Regular outings of 2 – 3 hours are recommended to allow your friendship to grow.
What activities would be suitable?
Going to the park, having a drink and reading a book, going swimming, going to Jump in, any outdoor activity, baking, arts and crafts, going to cinema,
What do I do if I have a question about my Younger Friend?
Please speak to your Area Co-ordinator if you have any questions.
What do I do if I have a Safeguarding concern?
Please speak to your Area Co-ordinator or Social Services on 01926 414144 or 01926 886922 (out of office hours).
To apply to be an Older Friend, please complete our application form: