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Children and young people facing multiple disadvantages in life such as the effects of domestic violence, caring for family members or their own mental health often experience social isolation and low self-esteem. They are at higher risk of becoming involved in criminal activity or addicted to drugs or alcohol, less likely to achieve academically and more likely to experience poor mental health in adulthood.

Friendship Works has been working with children experiencing difficulties like these since 1977 with male and female volunteer mentors helping young people to explore their potential, get more out of their childhood, and develop valuable life skills. The service is the only youth mentoring scheme in London that offers long-term, frequent and regular contact between a child or young person and their mentor, and is proven to have a positive and meaningful impact.

How you can play your part

Whatever a child’s particular circumstances, regular contact with a mentor gives them access to new experiences and opportunities as well as some one to talk to about the challenges they face. Building a stable, positive friendship with a mentor supports their emotional wellbeing and helps build the resilience they need to cope with adversity now and in the future.

We need male and female adult volunteers to build a stable and positive friendship with a child or young person through weekly outings. These outings take place at the weekend and last for 3-4 hours giving mentors and mentees a chance to explore mutual interests, new activities and explore London together.

As a volunteer mentor you will:

  • Develop a safe and stable friendship with your mentee helping to build their confidence and self esteem.
  • Be able to introduce a young person or child to a range of new opportunities and activities.
  • Be able to see beyond a child’s external presentation and understand the emotional needs underlying their behaviour.
  • Bring stability, security and consistency to a child’s life through weekly contact for 2 years.
  • Know when to provide advice and guidance, and when it’s better to just listen.
  • Help a young person to explore their potential and get more out of their childhood.
  • Support a young person to develop new life skills through sharing knowledge and experience.
  • Support a child’s emotional well being as a trusted adult for them to talk to about the challenges they face.
  • Be a positive, active and fun role model for your mentee.

Training and support

We are committed to ensuring all our volunteer mentors are provided with the support, supervision and training they need to be confident about building a safe meaningful friendship with a young person. Our selection process for volunteer mentors allows us to ensure the safety of the children we support, but also provides an opportunity for you and us to assess whether this is the right volunteering opportunity for you.

As part of your ongoing training and support you will:

  • Attend a two hour information event to meet our team, hear from young people we support and current Friendship Works mentors
  • Attend a group training and assessment weekend to build your skills and knowledge before you begin mentoring. This includes sessions on active listening, safeguarding children and how to respond to different situations you may encounter as a mentor
  • Engage in regular supervision calls with a named caseworker once you are matched with a young person
  • Have access to support, advice or guidance about your mentoring friendship whenever you need it
  • Take part in 6 monthly reviews to discuss how your friendship is developing in more depth and explore any additional support you may need

Role Profile

Application process information

More about the service

Register your interest



Family Action Friendship Works Mentoring Service

24 Angel Gate, City Road
020 7254 6251