UR Buddies & Friends

Buddies and FriendsReceive personalised one-2-one support

Being a part of the Young Lives Foundation not only means you have access to our fun activities and groups but also the opportunity to receive one to one support from our Mentors and Befrienders.

You could have one of our volunteers to meet up with you regularly, offer you advice and support or take part in activities – and this volunteer will be just for you!

Mentors quickly help you to achieve personal goals…

…Befrienders stick by you for at least 2 years!

What is Mentoring all about?

Mentors are adult volunteers who work with young people. They don’t get paid to support you, so they are not like teachers or carers – they are independent from social services and just want to be a positive role model for you and help you to achieve. They have been fully trained to be able to work with you in the best way possible. The mentor will make sure their support is personalised to fit your needs. Mentors can help you if you are:

  • Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET)
  • At risk of offending or anti-social behaviour
  • Struggling with attendance or behaviour at home or school

WP_20150307_012 EDITWhat the mentor does is works with you to help you try to achieve positive and personal goals. For example; if you weren’t doing so great with your work at school, your mentor could help you with homework to do better. Or if you would like to find a new hobby in your area, a mentor could help you search and join something that would interest you.

Mentors usually work with you once a week for an hour or so, over an agreed period of time. They can meet you at your school, a local coffee shop or perhaps the library; wherever is best suited to you.

Take a look at our Mentoring Leaflet here!


What about a Befriender? What do they do?

Befrienders are adult volunteers officially called Independent Visitors who work with young people in care for at least 2 years. They don’t get paid to support you, they are independent from social services and choose to spend time with you and take an long term interest in you. They have been fully trained to be able to work with you in the best way possible and are carefully matched to you and your needs.

image10What the independent visitor does is ensures you have someone who can be there for you, someone who can listen and always support you, even at professional meetings like your LAC Reviews. They can help you enjoy a hobby, take you out on activities, listen to you when you need someone to talk to and offer you help or advice when you need it. They will be a friend who is there just for you.

Independent visitors usually meet with you twice a month for a couple of hours or so. They take you out each time so you get to enjoy things like:

  • Going out for meals
  • The cinema
  • Walks and exploring
  • Bowling, ice skating or golf and much more

What’s best is you get the chance to choose the sort of independent visitor you want. We talk to you about the sort of person you would like them to be and what things you would like to do together. You can even meet them before they become your visitor too.

Take a look at our Befriending Leaflet here!


What Young People Say

“Lisa has been my independent visitor for eight years now. We have had so much fun in those years and I’ve got so many good memories of my time with Lisa that I am never going to forget. Even when I’m 95 and can’t remember anything else, I’ll remember my days out with Lisa.”

“I can talk to my independent visitor about very personal things. He has helped me to get stuff off my chest. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to my carer about how I was feeling.”

“The person I choose to talk to about stuff is my independent visitor.”


If you want to find out more about Mentoring and Befriending then Contact Us. You can always get somebody else to contact us for you.