01429 891 444
Volunteer to befriend a child/young person in care as an Independent Visitor

Volunteer to befriend a child/young person in care as an Independent Visitor

Every child or young person in care is entitled to have an Independent Visitor. Currently there are around 1700 children/young people in care across Tees Valley. We always need new volunteers to provide them with valuable support. Volunteering opportunities are available in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton, Darlington Redcar & Cleveland.

“It’s great, he makes me feel comfortable, sometimes we talk about things that worry me, but most of the time we do fun things together and have a good laugh.” 11 year old describing their Independent Visitor.

What Will I be doing in the role?

• An Independent Visitor (IV) is a responsible, reliable and committed adult volunteer (18 plus) who develops a friendship with a child or young person who is in care. You will take part in activities that you are both interested in at least twice per month.

• Some children in care can feel isolated and visits with you enable them to develop their trust, confidence and allow them to make happy memories.

• Examples of visits have included going to the farm, trips to the panto, playing footy in the local park, visiting your favourite place to eat and special treats, such as going to a concert.

• All expenses are paid for by the charity.

This is an amazing opportunity for you to become a positive role model to children and young people who have experienced trauma and sadness. They have also lost important relationships with their families. All of the children and young people that have an IV say that they are a lot happier because of it.

How long is the commitment?

  • Because children and young people in care are more likely to have suffered the effects of broken relationships, you need to be able to commit to a year. Volunteers say that they are able to easily fit their visits into their own busy lives as the role is so flexible.

What sort of experience do I need?

  • Your values and qualities as a person must fit with our charities mission. We want IV’s that are genuinely caring, compassionate, non-judgemental and able to commit to the role.
  • Being an IV requires you to be pro-active and organised in arranging visits and contacting your match so good communication skills and confidence is required.
  • Experience with children or young people such as working in a school or volunteering at another charity is beneficial.

Five benefits of being an Independent Visitor

• Making a real difference to someone’s life.
• Develop your own confidence and skills.
• Take part in free ongoing training, and gain experience, which could help your future career.
• Help young people achieve goals and aspirations.
• Making new friends, memories and unforgettable experiences.

“Being an IV gives me a sense of fulfilment and I feel like I’m giving something back. His confidence and the way he interacts with others is much better now.” Volunteer

What training will I receive? 

All our volunteers are invited to Independent Visitor group training and will have ongoing support. The training will ensure that you are confident and comfortable when starting in your new role.

How Do I apply?

You can e-mail for more information elle.lawrence@changingfuturesne.co.uk or ring for an informal chat on 01429 891 444. Alternately you can send in a completed application form, they can be downloaded using the link below.

Volunteer Application Form

We take the safety and wellbeing of children and young people extremely seriously. All potential volunteers must provide referees and pass an Enhanced DBS check.