KIDS Befriending in the South East region is a free emotional support service for parents who have recently discovered their child has a disability or they are facing a particularly challenging time in their disabled child's life.  The service covers Gosport, Fareham, Havant, and is now developing across Hampshire.As a befriender prepared to leave her last visit she was given a card by the mum she had been supporting. Inside mum had written,

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain. Thank you”



How does the service work?

This service is delivered by a team of trained volunteer befrienders. Every befriender is a parent too – someone whose own child has a disability. Parents are matched with befrienders whose children have a similar disability. Befrienders are then able to understand and empathise because of their shared experience.

Once a referral is received, a home visit is arranged to discuss the aims of the service.  If they wish to proceed the parent is matched with a suitable befriender and the Face 2 Face relationship begins through supportive emotional communication and appropriate signposted.

From one of our Befrienders:


"I did not have the benefit of a Face 2 Face befriender, but dearly wish I had as I know those dark, difficult early months could have been made bearable.  There is a fine line most parents walk when they are faced with a diagnosis of disability for their child between coping and falling into crisis.  The impact of the latter can have far reaching consequences for parents, their children, and the extended family.  Early intervention is crucial to help alleviate family stress and Face 2 Face can be invaluable in doing this.

It is for these reasons that I decided to become a Face 2 Face befriender, because I have gone through the 'dark times' and come out the other side.  I can empathise with what many parents will be going through.  As a result of hard work and committment my daughter is a delightful young lady with a bright future.  When parents of younger disabled children have asked me what my daughter is doing now, their relieved response is 'so there is hope'.  Therefore, I feel very strongly that this service is invaluable for parents to give them support now, but also to empower them for the future."

Who is the service for?

Parents and primary carers based in the South East region.

How much does it cost?

This service is free.


Availability:

Befrienders meet parents individually at mutually convenient times and dates during term times.The administration office is open to enquiries and referrals - please contact us using the details below.

How to access this service:

Self referral by parents/primary carers or third parties with consent

Contact:

Phone: 0132 924 2954
Email: kim.steele@kids.org.uk