mentor & child bowling header

What we do

Friendship Works is a children’s mentoring service and is part of the national charity Family Action. We improve the emotional well-being, resilience and life chances of disadvantaged children and young people in London, through long-term mentoring.

Our service is completely free of charge at the point of delivery.

Our vision

Our vision is of a future where all children in England have the mentoring support they need to access vital opportunities and build friendships in order to get more out of childhood, explore their potential, see what life has to offer and lead a fulfilling adult life.

Where we work

We work in London to recruit, train and pair adult volunteer mentors with children and young people aged 5-18 who need more adult support in their lives. The majority of the children we support live in the boroughs of Camden or Islington.

Who we help

The young people we work with need stronger social support networks. They face problems such as social isolation, learning or behavioural difficulties, bullying or other challenges at school, or might be young carers for parents with health problems.

As a result, many have not had the opportunity to do things in life that other children and young people take for granted, such as a simple trip to the cinema or visit to the park. They haven’t had the chance to develop important life-skills, and don’t know how to cope with some of life’s everyday challenges. They are less likely than their peers to be able to develop the skills, interests and attitudes that they need to lead a fulfilling life.

We currently reach over 150 children and young people aged 5-18 living in central London.

Why mentoring?

Whatever their problems, a close long-term friendship with an adult mentor can have a huge positive effect on a child’s life. An extra adult acting as a mentor helps a child to access new experiences, manage challenges, have fun, explore new interests and develop life-skills. Our mentors meet the child they are matched with on a regular basis for two years to build a friendship which can make a lasting difference.

  • For a child who is socially isolated, a mentor connects them.
  • For a child needing adult support, a mentor is there for them.
  • For young carers, a mentor gives them the chance to be a child again.

88% of parents tell us that their child has increased in confidence with the support of a mentor and 71% report that their child has new interests, hobbies and skills.

77% of volunteer mentors report that their mentee is better at expressing themselves and communicating their feelings, and 72% say that their mentee is more confident making decisions about things which affect them.

Through friendship, our mentors help children and young people explore their potential, build their confidence and help them realise their hopes and aspirations for a brighter future.

Find out more

If you are interested in becoming a friendship mentor, find out more and apply online.

If you are a parent, school or professional agency and would like to refer a child for the support of a friendship mentor, visit our service pages for the information you need.