Warwickshire friendship charity appealing for more volunteers

"Speed matching" event at Warwick School.
"Speed matching" event at Warwick School.

A charity that helps children and young people in need is appealing for more volunteers.

The Friendship Project, is a Warwickshire-wide charity that matches children and young people with volunteers for friendship and activities.

Recently two co-ordinators from the project spoke to a group of local employers during a ‘speed matching’ event at Warwick School.

The event was hosted by The Midcounties Co-operative, in conjunction with Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA).

Midcounties Co-operative matched well-known local businesses - including Calor, Santander, PWC, Wolseley and Leamington Football Club - with 15 Warwickshire community organisations to forge partnerships where businesses could offer their skills in areas such as finance, HR, IT, customer service, marketing and project management to support the charities’ operations.

In return, businesses identified how the charities’ volunteers could be best used to support their own community work.

Local charities in attendance included The Friendship Project, Springfield MIND mental health charity, LWS night shelter, which provides food, shelter, and company for homeless and vulnerably housed people; and Action 21 environmental organisation.

At the event Fiona Roche, area co-ordinator for the Leamington area for the Friendship Project, said: “We are very happy to come here today and speak with many local employers about how they can encourage their staff members to volunteer with us”.

Dally Purewal, The Midcounties Co-operative’s leadership team ambassador in Leamington and Warwick, said: “As a co-operative, giving back to our communities in a sustainable way is key to everything we do. So it was great to hear feedback from participants saying they’d started to build relationships at the event that will prove mutually beneficial for a long time to come.”

Kate Morrison, director of volunteering for WCAVA, said: “What was incredible about the event was the diversity of charity groups – both large and small – all in the same room. And there was so much willingness to help from the private sector organisations that came, it was a rare opportunity to get everybody talking together so efficiently.”

Following on from the event, the Friendship Project is now appealing for more volunteers to become ‘friends’.

The children and young people who helped by the charity are in need for a variety of reasons.

People of over 18 years-old are welcome to apply.

Volunteers need to have a car and be willing to undergo an interview and a DBS check. They must also want to help a young person to achieve his or her potential.

The charity’s volunteers are asked to spend two – three hours a week taking their ‘Younger Friend’ on an outing. This could be a trip to the park, or to the swimming pool, to a museum or to a local café for a hot chocolate and a chat.

These are simple activities, but many of the children the Friendship Project helps do not have the chance to experience the

For more details go: www.friendshipproject.co.uk or www.facebook.com/TheFriendshipProjectForChildren/