Independent visitors is a Sheffield City Council scheme which aims to match volunteers who will build helpful and positive relationships with young people who are in care or who have recently left care.
Independent visitors befriend and visit young people once a month to do fun activities and help to provide support and consistency in their lives.
If you are interested in donating some of your time to do some fun activities with a young person such as crafts or games, a trip to the theatre, cinema, trampolining or climbing – we would love to hear from you.
Here is what a young care leaver said about his dedicated independent visitor:
“My favourite visit was going to the countryside for a bike ride. It was my first time in the countryside… and it was amazing. I had never ridden a bike for 20km before, just for short distances when I was little, and that was it. And oh, my legs the next day! I couldn’t feel them. I didn’t know this was an option of something to do. I’m glad he suggested it because I really enjoyed it.”
A young person currently in care shares her experience about her independent visitor:
“[Having an independent visitor] really helps me to get out of the house. I don’t do that very often at all and so the visits really help with this.
“I don’t have many friends so it’s been good to have her in my life. It has been consistent for 2 years, which is really good for me given the inconsistencies in my life before coming into care.
“I have built up a really good relationship with her over the years. We have done a fantastic range of visits together. She is willing to travel to see me and I appreciate that as it’s a big ask for a volunteer.”
Roxy Green is a volunteer independent visitor who really enjoys her time with her young person, she said:
“I decided to become an independent visitor because I enjoy working with children and wanted to do something a bit different. I have been visiting my young person for nearly three and a half years. Her favourite things to do are trampoling, painting pottery and going to the cinema. I get the opportunity to have fun as well as giving her emotional support when she needs it.
“Having someone consistently in her life who is just for her, has been really valuable. Our relationship is also important to me. I love hearing about what my young person has been up to and I am really proud of all the things she does.”
If you are 21 and over and have been inspired by the young people and IVs, please get in touch.
For more information about becoming an independent visitor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Angela Taylor or Sarah Javes on 0114 2288522/0114 2288556.