Our befrienders meet local mums/carers at least once a fortnight.
They tell you about fun activities and useful services in your area, which you can even attend together.
Going to early years activities is great for your baby's development. And parents love them too.
What happens first? Your befriender calls you for a chat so that you can get to know each other.
They will tell you about your local children’s centre, LEAP events and any other early years services that you can attend.
If you're feeling nervous, your befriender will try to arrange to go with you. You can start by visiting somewhere together where you feel comfortable – like your local café, park, or leisure centre.
The LEAP Parent Champion Team will match you with a local parent.
We'll try to match you with someone who has the same age children, speaks the same language, or has been through a similar experience as you.
It usually takes us about 3-5 weeks to match you with a befriender. You will then receive your first phone call from them.
Our team will help your befriender to support you. We will stay in touch with your befriender, and the person who referred you, to make sure you are happy and well supported.
Occasionally, we will talk to other professionals on your behalf to arrange support.
A befriending relationship usually lasts between 3 – 6 months.
It ends when you feel comfortable and confident attending early years’ activities on your own. You and your befriender will discuss when this feels right.
Your befriender will always give you one month’s notice before leaving. And if you like, we can match you with another befriender.
To end your befriending relationship, please contact the professional who referred you. Or you can contact a Parent Champion Coordinator on: 0750 874 1217.
Will you visit me at home? No
We will never visit you in your home. A Parent Champion can meet you outside your house if, for example, you need support carrying your buggy downstairs.
Can you act as an interpreter for me? Yes
We can match you with a befriender who speaks your language. They can introduce you to other parents and your local children centre. However, a befriender cannot provide ongoing translation for you, or provide translation in services that are not related to early years.
Can we travel together in a vehicle? No
Befrienders cannot transport you or your children in their car. Neither can they travel in your car with you.
Will you look after my children if I need it? No
Befrienders do not provide childcare, although often, they will have their own children with them. They cannot be on their own with your children and are not able to look after your children during the time you are together.
Can we meet in the evening, or at weekends? No
Befrienders are unable to meet up outside of school hours.
Can you provide financial support? No
Befrienders cannot provide financial support. If needed, they can work with you to find places that can help.
Any information you give us will be treated confidentially and will not normally be passed on to anyone outside our service without your permission.
However, if we become aware of any risk to your own or anyone else’s safety, it might be necessary to break confidentiality.
If you would like to get in contact with a member of the Parent Champion Team, to ask us a question or give some positive or negative feedback about your befriender, please get in contact with:
Kimberlin Dunkley, Parent Champion Coordinator: Kimberlin Dunkley, Kdunkley@ncb.org.uk or 079 4907 3437