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Volunteers needed to help Sheffield children who are in care

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People are being asked to help young people who are in care take part in fun activities, as part of a volunteer scheme.

Sheffield City Council are looking for volunteers to befriend and visit youngsters who are in care.

The volunteers, known as independent visitors, will be asked to go out once a month with a young person to do interesting and engaging activities to help build a positive and consistent relationship.

Tom Ashford, aged 37, is an independent visitor and has been volunteering for over a year.

He said that the experience has been very beneficial for not only the youngsters he has spent time with, but also himself.

He said: “I decided to become an independent visitor after hearing about the scheme through a friend.

“Positive, consistent role models are so important for young people and it’s something most of us take for granted.

“Spending just a few hours a month doing something they enjoy can make a huge difference. I really enjoy hearing their stories and I get to do fun activities too.”

He also added that he would encourage other people to become independent visitors too.

“I would strongly encourage anyone with an interest in sharing some positive experiences with a young person to volunteer.

“It’s only a few hours per month and I find it very rewarding.”

Carly Speechley, Director of Children and Families at Sheffield City Council, said they would like to hear from anybody who could dedicate some of their time to helping youngsters and provide a positive bond with them.

She said: “We are looking for fun, reliable and enthusiastic volunteers who have a genuine interest in making a difference to the lives of Sheffield young people in care.

“Providing young people with consistent, positive adult child relationship is so important for our young people.

“This relationship can involve anything from playing football in the park to seeing the latest films or new things the young person wants to do.

“If you are over 21 and interested in applying please do get in touch.”

If you are interested in becoming an independent visitor, please email angela.taylor@sheffield.gov.uk or call Angela on 0114 2288522.

The independent visitor scheme is just one of the volunteering options which are available to people.

There are many volunteering opportunities, which would involve helping children learn, helping pregnant women or at sporting events. Find out more at www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk.