The Friendship Project for Children would like to thank the Heart of England Community Foundation for their recent grant of £3,000 to support our services in Warwickshire, during the Covid-19 crisis.

Jon Gibbons, Older Friend Trustee said: “This money has enabled our Operations Team to continue their important work in supporting both our valued volunteers and their Younger Friend’s families during lockdown. The importance of maintaining the continuity of contact with these children should not be underestimated, these are unique and difficult times for all of us, but particularly the young people within the Friendship Project who need and deserve our support. Our volunteers continue to keep in touch with their Younger Friends and we are encouraging them to send us photos and pictures of what they have been up to during the lockdown to promote on our new Instagram page @friendshipproj. One especially inventive Younger Friend has sent her Older Friend her own homemade wordsearch, quiz and colouring sheet. It is vitally important for the children that we help to know that, despite not being able to see them or to engage in our usual activities, nonetheless their Older Friends are thinking of them, will continue to support them during this time and that we all look forward to seeing them after lockdown is eased”.

A family of one of our Younger Friends we support sent us the following message after receiving a fruit box from our Operations team:

“We just wanted to say thank you. What a lovely surprise to get a fruit box this morning, our son eats so much fruit daily (we call him the fruit monster) we reckon he has pure orange juice for blood! He is keeping in contact with his Older Friend weekly. His Older Friend is the best friend we could’ve hoped for our son. It’s just wonderful what the Project has done in helping him and our family”. Family of a Younger Friend

The Friendship Project for Children operates throughout Warwickshire with the primary aim of helping children in need of some extra support. All children aged between 6 and 16 are referred to the charity through children’s social services and are then matched with an ‘Older Friend’ who takes them out and spends time with them for a few hours each week. In the current situation when so many people are in need of social contact and continuity, it is especially important that these friendships continue.

Since the charity started in 1986 it has supported over 1500 local children. The outstanding work of volunteers makes a huge difference within their community. There are many social reasons why children are in need of this kind of support, but experience has shown that a weekly visit by someone who cares makes a significant difference. The visit could be doing something as simple as a walking a dog or having a hot chocolate together; but could also include activities which the child would otherwise not get to experience, such as tenpin bowling, ice skating or horse riding.

For more information on The Friendship Project, please visit: www.friendshipproject.co.uk, @friendshipproj or call 0845 838 2098.