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The scheme matches a child, the â€˜Younger Friendâ€™, with a volunteer, the â€˜Older Friendâ€™. The Older Friend will provide care and interest for 2 to 3 hours a week. We organise a series of checks to ensure the Older Friend is suitable. Usually the Younger Friend is referred to us by Social Services or the child\'s school via the CAF system. We also must have the agreement of the childâ€™s parents or carers. The children we help are aged between 6 and 16. The befriender must be over 18 years of age.
The children who are referred to us are â€˜children in needâ€™. The child may have problems or the child may be in a situation that creates problems. Social Services, or other referrer, believe an Older Friend will benefit the child.
The aim of the friendship is to develop the childâ€™s interests and confidence, through outings and activities together. Quite simple ideas often suffice. Drawing, playing games, walks in the park and swimming are all popular; it is the caring and interest that matters most.
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Kim Cowling - 1st and 3rd Kilmacolm Guides
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