Celebrating Remarkable Friendships

Friendship Works Awards Ceremony 2013

Friday 21 June saw Friendship Works host our annual awards ceremony to celebrate the commitment and achievements of our volunteers and the children they support. The event was held at the offices of DLA Piper UK LLP and included an entertainer, special guests and a presentation of certificates.

The children enjoyed balloon animals created by Magic Mark, sweets and treats including special cupcakes provided by BCS and had the chance to meet the celebrity guests.

This was a very special event for Friendship Works as it marked our most successful year yet with a record high of 165 active friendships between vulnerable young people and their fantastic volunteer mentors.  Thanks to Friendship Works children like Matthew, who was too shy even to leave the house when he first met his mentor Emma, are able to develop long lasting friendships which give them opportunities to grow in confidence and have new experiences.

Richard Turner, Chief Executive of Friendship Works was joined by drummer and songwriter Jesse Bildner and Ellen White, Arsenal Ladies and England striker. The children were inspired by the words of up-and-coming star Jesse as he told the audience of his band’s recent successes and how rewarding he finds teaching drumming to children with special needs. Ellen, who was returning after a popular appearance at last year’s event, spoke about her exciting year participating in the Olympics and the role of her team-mates and friends in her achievements:

“It is an honour and a privilege to represent my club Arsenal Ladies and to have had the chance to be a part of Team GB in the Olympics. I feel extremely proud to play alongside not only some of the best players in the country/world but to have them as my friends. To be able to share amazing experiences with your friends and support one another through something that you love is the best feeling in the world. I am extremely grateful to those who have supported me so far.”

Richard Turner offered his congratulations to the 25 pairs of mentors and children who marked six months or more of friendship at the event:

“We were delighted to be able to recognise and celebrate so many mentoring friendships at the awards ceremony.  Building a new friendship is a big achievement and can take courage, understanding and lots of commitment.  I’d like to say well done to everybody who received a certificate and wish them good luck on their continuing journey together.”

Friendship can make a world of difference to an isolated child and by 2014 we hope to be supporting 200 children in this way.  If you are interested in mentoring a child, please look at the volunteering section of our website.

Alternatively you can support a child’s friendship with their mentor by helping us to raise the funds that we need to provide our service.   If you’d like to run a marathon, host a coffee morning or anything in between, contact the events team at events@friendshipworks.org.uk. It’s so easy to make a real difference to a child’s life by supporting us, so please do get in touch.