The volunteers, known as independent visitors, 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.

Lauren Hart, 34, is an independent visitor who has been volunteering for a year and a half.

She said: “Volunteering as an independent visitor has been by far one of the best things I have ever done. Not only do we have fun, we are also developing a positive relationship and it means a lot to me to support such an incredible young person.

“The Sheffield Children’s Involvement Team are so supportive and generally all round amazing!

“The matching process is so thorough and I feel like me and the young person are so well suited and have similar interests.

“We get on so well and have so many great experiences; I look forward to our meet ups each month. I am also learning so much about myself and I’m really grateful for this fantastic opportunity.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said:

“It is really important for our children and young people to have strong, positive relationships and independent visitors can really help – whether it’s playing football in the park, seeing the latest film or taking an interest in a young person’s hobby.”

“If you’re over 21, reliable and enthusiastic and think you could make a difference to the lives of Sheffield young people in care and care leavers, we’d love to hear from you.”

For more information about becoming an independent visitor, please email iv@sheffield.gov.uk or call Angela Taylor or Sarah Javes on 0114 2288522/0114 2288556.