Meet Cody – A Befriender of Young People in Foster Care Within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust
Cody began volunteering when she was 22 years old and finishing her degree at Ulster University in criminology and politics. At this time Cody had a busy life with studying and working part time but really enjoyed keeping fit and felt that she could do something active alongside a young person with lots of energy to burn. On registering to volunteer as a befriender within the Trust, Cody was matched with a 15 year old young person with plenty of energy who similarly loved the outdoors and being active. Cody committed to taking this young person out to engage in physical activities once or twice per month for a few hours. The outings included outdoor activities such as hikes up Cave Hill and indoor activities such as We Are Vertigo.
Befriending is particularly beneficial to this young person as they live in kinship foster care with their grandparents. Whilst they are able to take excellent care of their grandchild in many ways, they just don’t have the energy to provide this kind of outlet for them.
Cody really enjoys spending time with this young person whom she finds warm and engaging; their grandparents are very grateful for the extra support which is improving their grandchild’s confidence and wellbeing; and the young person really enjoys the positive attention and loves showing off all that they can do. Having a young, positive and well matched role model to talk to if they wishes has largely been the key to the many benefits of this befriending experience.
Cody, in return, has had the opportunity to meet new people, try something new and develop and enhance many skills whilst gaining experience of this social care setting.