Posted: 06 June 2019

Enter the friend zone - become a volunteer befriender

Volunteer’s Week

National Volunteers’ Week is our chance to celebrate the fantastic work our volunteers do to change the lives of vulnerable young people.  

More than 9,000 people give up their time to support us, and it’s their contributions that help more children and young people experience a good childhood.  

During Volunteers’ Week, we’ll be sharing inspiring stories from our volunteers and there’ll be plenty of information on ways to get involved. The first week in June is a chance to think about the importance of volunteering and how we can celebrate all those who get involved.

Our volunteer roles vary greatly, they could be anything from helping in a bookshop to becoming a befriender.

What is a volunteer befriender?

Befrienders offer one-to-one friendship and support to a young person who needs someone to turn to. Hebba Nasser has recently become a befriender and is excited about ‘meeting them…exploring London… (and) doing something new’.

Hebba enjoyed her trips to the Children’s Society bookshop so much when she was younger that she decided to spend more time there as a volunteer. Through volunteering, Hebba ‘saw the real value of supporting young people’ and went on to become a befriender.

‘I have always enjoyed working with young people, and I was keen to start supporting people who are refugees, migrants or those who have been trafficked.’

Despite ‘being a little nervous’ at first, after a full day training session with us, Hebba now feels ‘well prepared and excited’ to start volunteering as a befriender.

‘The biggest thing I learned in training was not being afraid to make mistakes…we’re all human, and we just need to learn from it’.

'The biggest thing I learned...was not being afraid to make mistakes' - Hebba, befriender

Another volunteer befriender, Nina Ilunga, is also grateful for all the ‘amazing’ and ‘interesting’ people she has met during training and supervision sessions. As well as learning to support others, Nina also talks about learning to support herself.

‘It was interesting to see what each person considered as caring for oneself’. This might be ‘going for a walk, doing yoga or simply taking time out of our day to breathe’.

Both Hebba’s and Nina’s advice to anyone thinking of volunteering with us is ‘do it!’ You’ll be well supported along the way and you’ll meet ‘some really wonderful young people’.  

Watch our volunteer video

Watch our volunteer video below for more reasons and other ways to get involved. 

Not involved yet? Join us!

Sound inspiring? Would you like to join the thousands of volunteers who make the work we do possible? 

Whatever time you have available to give, it will make a difference. Browse our volunteer roles and help us to be there for young people when they need us most.



By Kaja Zuvac-Graves

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Finding out how I could help

Posted: 25 May 2018


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Find a volunteer role

Posted: 22 December 2010


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The many values of befriending

Posted: 14 August 2012