Jenny volunteers as a mentor with Friendship Works. Last year she also turned fundraiser to run the London 10k for us.
“I became involved with Friendship Works just over 2 years ago. I was looking for a volunteering opportunity and found the website. I am a teacher and so realised immediately the enormous value that services like this could have for vulnerable children. After thinking about it for several months, I decided that I did have the time to make such a big commitment and submitted my application.
“As I work with older children, my caseworker suggested that it would be nice to be matched with a younger child, and I agreed. I met my match, an adorable 7 year old girl (as she was then) at the beginning of May 2009. She is very quiet and shy, and it has taken a long time for her to build up her confidence with me, but we are now very relaxed in each other’s company. We often spend afternoons at my flat baking (and eating) cakes, I have taught her to swim and we love just hanging out in Regent’s Park.
“Mentoring has been an extremely valuable experience, and has given me a much greater understanding of some of the challenges facing London children which has really helped me in my work as a teacher. My friend is a big part of my life. My parents and friends ask after her regularly and I am made to feel very welcome at her home. I wouldn’t change anything about my experience with Friendship Works, and would really recommend giving it a try!”