Scott Campbell – Hartlepool – Age 25
Volunteer Scott Campbell, 25 years old. Scott is an Independent Visitor and has volunteered within Changing Futures North East since 2014 .
‘I am an Independent Visitor for Changing Futures North East which is a voluntary role aimed at supporting children and young people who are in the care system. I heard about the opportunity through a friend and after having a short discussion I attended the training course which provided me with all of the information I needed. I work as a Youth Worker so have experience of working with young people however the training course and role would be suitable for anyone who is interested in giving something back or learning some new skills.
After completing the training I was matched with a young person aged eight years old who is in foster care and my role involves building up a long term relationship with him by going out on visits every two weeks, taking an interest in his life, offering independent support aswell as a listening ear. I have taken him to various places and taken part in a variety of activities such as the cinema, swimming, football and even Lightwater Valley. The role is highly rewarding as you make a big difference in the young person’s life and they really value the time you spend with them.
I would recommend the opportunity to anyone and the support I have received from the staff at Changing Futures North East has been exceptional which makes the role as easy as possible.’
Grace Eyre – Hartlepool – Age 21
Volunteer Grace Eyre, 21 years old. Grace is an Independent Visitor and has volunteered within Changing Futures North East since 2014.
I started my IV journey as a university student that wanted a role in a volunteering organisation that was more interactive and personal than previous volunteering experiences.
Becoming an independent visitor was quite daunting initially as you truly are one on one with a young person, however from the onset the training and support were superb. You are offered an accredited induction training where I gained a level 2 qualification in mentoring and further training specific to the role as an Independent Visitor.
On the first visit with Katie any concerns were immediately disregarded and I now look forward to every visit. I feel like I have formed a friendship with Katie, rather than having strict volunteer, volunteer relationship and most importantly I now have someone who shares my Disney movie obsession. I really value that the team matched me with a young person who shared the same interests as me!
Being an independent visitor is definitely the most fun and rewarding volunteer position I’ve ever held!
Andi Turner – Hartlepool
Volunteer Andi Turner is an Independent Visitor and has volunteered within Changing Futures North East since 2017.
Hello, my name is Andi Turner and I am a new Independent Visitor. I’ve been working with children for over 12 years as a Registered Childminder and, despite having lots of other professional roles, I still felt as though I could be doing something – well – something a bit more valuable with my spare time (not that there’s much but still). I thought how nicer my own childhood would have been if I’d had somebody I could talk to outside of my own family and about how fortunate my own grown-up son, niece and nephew are with their lot in life. A friend of mine had already joined Changing Futures as a Mentor and I thought hey, that’s sounds perfect for me! The 2 year commitment is not to be taken lightly mind and really needs a lot of consideration.
I was matched with a wonderful little boy and I’m sure others have felt this but I was a bit worried that he wouldn’t warm to me but, guess what? he’s my new little bezzie and I really look forward to our little outings together. And he does too by all accounts. But this arrangement is mutually beneficial for he’s also reminding me to appreciate the kids in my own family that little bit more, especially as they’re both approaching their teens which is a tricky time isn’t it?
On weekends I now take my niece and nephew out and about with our cameras to share our love for amateur photography and it’s amazing because soon – very soon – it just won’t be cool to spend weekends with their bonkers auntie and I’m so happy I’ve not left it too late. So thank you Changing Futures and thank you to my new little bezzie too.
“I wanted to help children and young people in my spare time. It’s wonderful to make a difference in a young person’s life and meet new people!”