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Friends for a Year

21st May 2004

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Friends for a Year‘Friends for a Year’ is the moving account of four teenagers making their own way in the big wide world.

They each face their own personal challenge; Brian is getting his first flat, Carrie is re-addressing her education after missing her GCSEs, Jane needs someone to talk to and Daniel needs more confidence.

Each is paired with a volunteer mentor from the Prince's Trust, someone who is a bit older and wiser who takes a special interest in them and helps them make the transition to successful, independent adult life. The film shows the emotional journey of the young people and their mentors, and the unique value of each relationship.

The odds are stacked against care leavers; the statistics show that many of them get into trouble with the law, have children early or become homeless. the average age of a care leaver is 17. Around 55% of young people leave care with no educational qualifications. One in five care leavers experience homelessness.

‘Friends for a Year’ was made to complement the BBC’s current Taking Care season and is supported by The Prince’s Trust’s Mentoring for Care Leavers initiative.

The young people and mentors taking part in the film are from the Mentoring for Care Leavers projects run in Lewisham and Kent.


Parentline Plus
Offers support, help and advice to anyone who is parenting a child, including foster parents, carers and grandparents, through its telephone helpline and parenting courses. It has launched Time To Talk, a new campaign to help parents talk to their children about sex and sexual health. It needs people with parenting experience to volunteer and take calls on its telephone helpline.
Works to help disadvantaged children and those living in poverty. It also offers advice and information to foster and adoptive parents and those interested in adopting or fostering a child.
Prince's Trust
Helps 14 - 30 year olds to develop confidence, learn new skills and get into work. They have a volunteers personal development programme that helps young people improve their skills, confidence and employability through teamwork in the community.
A charity specialising in child protection and the prevention of cruelty to children.
Kids Company
A thriving charity that helps vulnerable children in south London. Provides the basic necessities for disadvantaged children, three meals a day, basic living allowance, sheets, blankets and clothes. Where appropriate they house children or chase housing on their behalf. The organisation attracts a 95% self-referral or referrals by children of vulnerable children. This is their success but also their funding challenge as none of these children arrive with pots of money attached to them. Kids Company heavily relies on donations from the public - which enables the children to access necessities like, education, clothing, food, therapy, sport and art activities. They need to raise £1.5 million a year stay open.
If you are being bullied, or know someone who is, then call the helpline.
National Mentoring Network (NMN)
A membership-based organisation with over 1600 member organisations. It exists to support the growth of mentoring in its various forms. The NMN is are able to provide advice and support to individuals and organisations wishing to set up or develop a mentoring programme. It can also assist individuals to find a suitable scheme if they wish to volunteer as a mentor.
BBC Taking Care
A major new season across the BBC which is exploring a different kind of childhood for kids who grow up in care.

Follow the links to view similar stories:
Kids/Parenting/Families, Youth

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