Sara’s son Ben has a mentor through Friendship Works. She saw the positive impact of their friendship immediately.

From the very first outing the mentoring had a huge positive effect on my son Ben. His psychology team warned that often there is a big positive change at the beginning, but then things regress. This was not the case with us. Positive changes were immediate and increased with every outing.

I was referred to Friendship Works as it was agreed that it would be good for Ben to have a healthy male role model.

Before our first meeting with Rhys, I suddenly became really nervous about what kind of influence he would have on my son. Ben is so young, impressionable and vulnerable. I thought about it and reminded myself that the whole reason that we were doing this was so the mentor would have an influence on him.

At the initial meeting I instantly saw that Rhys is exceptionally socially skilled. He put me at ease in all sorts of small ways and my worries dissolved. After the first meeting Ben was really relaxed and happy and I could even see a change in his posture. He felt lucky to have been on the outing and couldn’t quite believe that he would get the chance to see Rhys on a regular basis, and actually neither could I. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have such a great mentor, and I still feel that every time Ben goes off on an outing.

Definitely at the beginning I thought that where they went on the outings was not really important. For my son just being around his mentor was the main thing. And although this is still true, over time I have seen that the matching process is quite important as shared interests really add to the process.  Rhys is extremely knowledgeable about a wide variety of things, and Ben is absorbing it all. Also over time a deeper trust developed, which is a different phase.

Having a mentor has been life changing for Ben. His future started changing before my eyes from the very first outing, and I am very grateful.

Click here to read Rhys and Ben’s story.