For Debra, it’s ‘the most rewarding thing she has ever done’.
Yolanda wanted to give something back to the community but feels she has ‘gained more than she has given’.
Trafford Council is celebrating Volunteers Week – from 1-7 June – by sharing stories from two amazing Independent Visitors, Debra and Yolanda. Independent Visitors build and maintain a friendship with a child or young person who is looked after by the Council.
Often the children don’t get to see their family, so the Independent Visitors provide them with a positive, consistent relationship, often acting as a role model. They also help compliment social workers and other staff involved in the care of the child or young person.
Independent Visitors are asked to commit to a few hours a month for a minimum of two years to spend time with a matched child or young person. This is done on a one-to-one basis and includes things like sharing leisure activities, cinema trips or bike rides. In return the volunteers receive support, training and expenses.
Being an Independent Visitor can be hugely rewarding.
In her video, Yolanda explains that she has been an Independent Visitor to two young people for 10 years.
She added: “The children have grown into well-rounded, wonderful young people and I feel proud of how far they have come.”
Debra, who is an Independent Visitor to a 13-year-old boy, said: “He knows that I’m a consistent presence. I’m always going to be there to pick him up, take him out and have fun together.”
If you are someone who wants to make a difference, with 3-4 hours a month spare, and the skills to befriend, listen to and support a young person, this could be the volunteering role for you!
Cllr Cath Hynes, Deputy Leader of Trafford Council and Executive Member for Children's Services, said:
I’m so impressed by our incredible Independent Visitors who are making a massive difference to the lives of children and young people in Trafford.
“We would love more people to get involved, from any background. We would particularly welcome more volunteers from Black and other Ethnic Minority groups to build and maintain positive, supportive relationships with our children and young people who are in care."
To see Debra’s video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKmOJ6HOej8.
To see Yolanda’s video, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLyBcvCci-E.
You can also find out more at www.trafford.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/children-in-care/children-in-care.aspx.
Posted on Friday 28th May 2021