Category: Blog

Bella’s story

About all the outings she goes on with her mentor So when we first met what happened was Neil asked me questions about Stephanie. He asked me “would you like a girl or a boy for the mentor”. I said “I want a girl” and he said “what kind of girl do you want?” I said a funny one. Me and Stephanie went to explore the world in London! My favourite place was…
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Mentors encourage creativity

This blog entry was written by Celina, who has been a caseworker with Friendship Works for four years.  As a caseworker at Friendship Works I support a budding friendship between Zachary and Amanda, who have known each other for 4 months now. Zachary is 14 years old and is a really creative young man. During his time with Amanda he has been able to explore his creative side in a…
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What is it like to be a trustee of Friendship Works?

Trustee’s Week runs from 4 – 10 November. It is a national campaign highlighting the role of trustees in charities. We thought this would be the ideal time for George Dunnett, our Chair of Trustees, to give a little insight into what it’s like to be a trustee for Friendship Works. Here is the first of his posts this week. This is a busy week for me as Chair of…
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MENtors wanted…

‘There has never been a greater need for alternative male role models.’ This statement was made during last Thursday’s ‘Tonight’ programme, ‘Kids without Dads’ which explored claims made in a report by the Centre for Social Justice (the think tank established by Iain Duncan Smith) that an increasing number of children in the UK are growing up without contact with their fathers. The programme introduced us to single mothers, including…
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Evaluating the impact of mentoring

As a caseworker at Friendship Works, I think mentoring is fantastic. I passionately believe that what we do makes a difference to children’s lives – we help children explore their potential, get more out of their childhood and build a brighter future. But how do we prove it? Over the past 6 months, I have taken on the challenge of looking carefully at how we review our matches between children…
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So you want to volunteer? Some advice to get you started…

The NVCO published its ‘Civil Society Almanac’ at the end of 2012. It contains information and statistics about charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations and examines trends in the world of volunteering. The data was gathered over 2009-2010. One of the things which immediately jumps out of the Almanac is a summary about why people volunteer. There is a lot of talk in the field of volunteering about promoting the…
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The true value of positive adult role models

The Prince’s Trust have just release their report ‘Youth Index 2013’. The findings are dispiriting, but there is an uplifting message too. For five years, they’ve been measuring how confident and happy young people are about life now, and the future they feel is in store for them. The results show the lowest rating since the study was launched. Young people are not feeling confident, happy or hopeful. It’s not…
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Make your resolution count: make mentoring work in 2013

There is something exciting about the start of a New Year. The highs and lows of last year are consigned to history as we embark on a new chapter. We don’t know what the New Year will bring, but we hope for great things. It is a time when we think about what we would like to change and make resolutions to help us achieve it. Often, these resolutions focus…
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Leading, learning, and investing in the future

Jodie (one of our Caseworkers) and I have just returned from our final leadership training course at the Center for Leadership Innovation in the US. The course was the last of three funded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and it’s been an amazing opportunity for Friendship Works. Charities often struggle to find the funds and resources to invest in leadership and management development and Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s…
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Seeing the world through different eyes: hearing it through different voices

“They shouldn’t say a thing about me until they’ve walked a day in my shoes,” the young man told me. I was on a football pitch on a housing estate in Hackney, east London, at the start of a three-month tour around the UK researching my book, British Voices. It was late August 2011, some three weeks after the worst rioting in thirty years had spread from Tottenham to other…
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