Befriender (Positive Identities Service, West Yorkshire)

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Barnardo’s is committed to providing ‘Better Outcomes for More Children’. Our children’s services volunteers help the charity to deliver essential services in local communities, providing support to over 300,000 children, young people and their families. This role provides a great opportunity to join our fantastic children’s services and help make a real difference.

Barnardo’s Befrienders work with young people a 1:1 basis, offering practical assistance and emotional support, to build their self-confidence, coping mechanisms and positive relationships. The work could be focused on a particular need, such as confidence building, or it could be more focused around supporting the young person to access local community groups.

At Barnardos Prouder Communities project, we support LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and those questioning their sexual or gender identity) children, young people and their families. All of our services strive to be safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQ young people. We provide direct support to LGBTQ children and young people around their gender and sexual identities. We also work with parents, carers and families. Prouder Communities is delivered across North and West Yorkshire with the aim to make LGBTQ young people feel safe and included in their communities.

Through our Positive Identities service, we also offer training to schools, professionals and community groups. Our training raises awareness of LGBTQ lives, promotes inclusion and tackles homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. The service includes: 1:1 support and interventions to LGBTQ young people aged 8-24 years; assemblies and workshops for young people delivered in all types of schools; training for organisations and community groups to increase understanding of the LGBTQ community and promote positive action towards creating safe spaces and, volunteering opportunities so that young people and adults can be community champions in their local area and be allies for LGBTQ communities.

We currently have opportunities open for volunteers to provide on-going support, advice and encouragement for young people who have received a course of 1:1 counselling, and would benefit from a continued source of support through our befriending service, across north and west Yorkshire. The support could be provided via text, Whatsapp, telephone, or whichever medium is the young persons preferred method of communication, and ideally for as long as the young person needs that support. If you feel like you have the experience, skills, patience and commitment to be there for a young person, we would love to hear from you.