We aim to come alongside parents and cheer them on, or perhaps stand with them while they wait.

We will not judge. We cry with them and/or laugh with them, whatever they need! We try to match parents by their child’s need, for instance, a chromosomal abnormality, mental health issues, a medical condition, loss of sight or hearing, autism, complex needs or developmental delay. We may be able to signpost parents to other organisations that we have found helpful.

Unfortunately we cannot offer practical support, but we may be able to help parents reframe what they’re encountering, take a step back, reflect and find the courage to go again, to take the next step.

You can access the Additional Needs Support Service via our website or email the co-ordinator on nicola.watson-bird@cff.org.uk.

We asked some of our existing befriendees what the most helpful aspects of befriending have been for them. This is what they said:

“Knowing I was not alone and that someone who understood my situation themselves actually cared enough to offer support and a listening ear without judgement. Being able to say what I was feeling, struggling with or worried about was helpful in allowing space to clear my head and gain perspective and not hold everything in and blame myself for things.”

“It helps me to keep going while my world collapses around me.”

“I have a connection with someone outside of professional services who gives me the benefit of experience and perspective but delivered in a compassionate and personal manner.”

“It’s lovely to have someone to talk to who ‘gets it’. I feel she understands what we’re going through and nothing becomes awkward when I bring the difficult things up – as can happen in other relationships. She isn’t fazed by the difficulty, rather she can relate to it and understands. It’s a great feeling to be understood.”

Nicola Watson

Perhaps reading this article has made you think you would like to know more about joining our team of befrienders. If so please get in touch with Nicola, our Additional Needs Support Coordinator, at nicola.watson-bird@cff.org.uk or 029 2081 0800. We offer our befriending service to people of any faith or none.

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At Care for the Family we support couples, parents and those who have been bereaved. If you would be able to make a one off donation to support our work, we would be very grateful. Thank you.

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