Helping children grow through friendship

Local charity celebrates mentoring and friendship in the community.

Mentoring charity Friendship Works hosted their annual awards evening at the Emirates Stadium on Friday 25 May. The charity works in Camden, Southwark and Islington to help communities by providing children in difficult circumstances with a volunteer mentor who supports them for at least two years.

The awards event, which has been running for a number of years, celebrates mentoring friendships and the huge commitment made by volunteers in the community to mentor a child in need and help them fulfil their potential.

The children were excited to meet Arsenal Mascot Gunnersaurus when they arrived, and then receive certificates of friendship along with their mentors from the Worshipful the Mayor of Islington, Councillor Jilani Chowdhury. He was joined by Ellen White, Arsenal Ladies and England striker, who spoke to the children about the importance of the support she’s had in life to help her achieve her dreams, and Tim Pigott-Smith, loyal Patron of Friendship Works.

The Worshipful the Mayor of Islington, who presided over the event, commented: “While friendship might sometimes seem like a simple idea, it’s something that we all need, and something that we can all give. I can think of many friends who have had a very strong impact on my life. Even today I don’t know where I would be without friendship. I applaud the Friendship Works mentors and mentees, for the time and effort that they put into outings and activities together and for the support, inspiration and happiness that they provide to each other.”

Richard Turner, Chief Executive, said: “All children need strong social support networks, including access to opportunities, advice and guidance, listening and understanding, and the support to build self-esteem. But many children don’t have the chance to experience a good childhood.

“We know that the quality of adult relationships has a profound impact on a child’s development into adulthood and their journey through life. For a child who doesn’t have enough adult support, a close long-term friendship with an adult mentor can have a huge positive impact.

“We believe that communities can work together to meet the needs of every child, and we’re proud to be part of making it happen. Our volunteer mentors are ordinary people making an extraordinary difference. Our awards evening is a testimony to their commitment and perseverance.”