Important News - All Change, No Change!
Friends for Friends is going back to its roots. Some 30 years ago St Joseph's Pastoral Centre started a "Friends for Friends" outreach. Our Friends for Friends Charity in North West London developed from this. Several of the trustees of Friends for Friends are now of a "certain age" - or much more! and ready for retirement. We have been finding it difficult to recruit much needed new talent onto the committee. In order to make sure that our activites continue we are merging back into St Joseph's Pastoral Centre, now known as Caritas St Joseph's. More or less everything we have been doing should continue and there might even be new initiatives based in our offices in Pinner. Please read the letter from our Chair, John Seymour. You can find it here: Letter from John Seymour
The Caritas St Joseph's website is at http://www.stjoseph.org.uk/index.html
The Caritas Westminster website refers to St Joseph's at http://rcdow.org.uk/caritas/st-josephs-pastoral-centre/ and the home page is http://rcdow.org.uk/caritas/
About Friends for Friends
People with a learning disability can often be socially isolated, apart from the community instead of part of it. Friends for Friends is a charity based in Harrow that brings them into the community by developing friendships with ordinary people.
For over 25 years we have been creating friendships between people just like you, and people with a learning disability. Some friendships are on a one to one basis, and sometimes people meet in groups. It varies depending on what people are comfortable with. Once a month there is a "One to One" club night with games music and refreshments.
Time and time again we have seen people blossom within these friendships, and our volunteer friends often comment on how much they get out of the friendship themselves.
Two of our Friends
Examples of things we do together
Friends can go out together to the cinema and shows, to places of interest or beauty spots. They might go out for meals or parties or to local festivals. The outings don’t have to be expensive. There are schemes for the cinema and shows where the volunteer friend is admitted free. We can also consider paying volunteer’s expenses where this is necessary.
At the monthly One to One Club there is snooker, table tennis and dancing to a live band. There are also quieter activities, refreshments and a licensed bar.
Friends can introduce each other to new sports and hobbies such as table tennis, dancing, photography, cooking, etc. You might be surprised!
We made a video of the 2012 One to One Club Christmas Party. The video was made after informing and consulting the people featured in it. They were shown it afterwards and asked for their permission to use it for training and to show to charitable trusts, which was enthusiastically given. However we pefer to err on the side of caution when people are vulnerable, so while you can view it on this website you will first need a username and password, which you can get by contacting Friends for Friends.
Some examples of friendships
(We have changed the names to preserve confidentiality)
- Paul takes Martin to the social club one evening a week, where Martin has made new friends. They sometimes go shopping or for a meal.
- Jenny and Sarah go to each others' homes for a meal and go on holiday together.
- Tom plays table tennis with Charles at the Leisure Centre.
- Bill and Jean sometimes help to organise group outings to amateur theatricals or boat trips.
What people say
"The friendship has been a wonderful thing for all the family" (a parent)
"It has been a very special friendship and I cannot praise the volunteer friend highly enough" (a carer)
Friends at the cinema
How you can help
We all need friends! Friends for Friends needs volunteer friends! You can enrich the life of someone with a learning disability, and our volunteer friends are always amazed at how much they get out of it themselves. If you join you won’t be on your own. We will support you. We will give you training. And we will introduce you to a friendship only after careful matching.
However we understand that not everyone wants to get involved so directly. There are many other ways you could help.
- You could volunteer at our monthly One to One Club, helping to serve refreshments or to get the hall ready.
- How about hosting or organising a fundraising event, e.g. a bring-and-buy sale, a coffee morning, a quiz night?
- At school or college and want to organise something? We’ll help you!
- Join our experienced fund raising team and enjoy a challenge. It can be great fun.
- If you have professional skills to offer please let us know!
- Donations are welcome too.
To join Friends for Friends, please send a membership application. You can use the form, write to 26 Love Lane, Pinner, HA5 3EF OR email us at firstname.lastname@example.org OR phone 020 8869 9228. Don't forget to give us your contact details!
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You can also give by Texting DONA12 to 70070 (e.g. DONA12£5)
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You can increase the value of your donation by using the Gift Aid scheme. You will find a form here that you can print and fill in. You should use the MyDonate form instead if you use Web giving.