We want to prevent homelessness from happening. In order to do this, we need to meet people before the crisis hits. Children with learning difficulties are often isolated from their peers and struggle making friends. We know that isolation is one of the main causes of homelessness, so we want to do everything we can to prevent this.
Our Bethany befrienders work tirelessly with children and teenagers who are struggling with various issues. One child we met with recently was Cammy. Cammy was referred to Bethany for befriending due to fighting and disruption in class. Cammy suffers from health issues and learning difficulties and really struggles when his peers make fun of him. In turn, he finds it difficult to control his temper.
After initially meeting with a Bethany befriender, Cammy wrote down a list of goals and aims he would like to achieve. They included being better behaved and working harder in school. Each week Cammy and the befriender would meet up and go over the goals to see how things had been going in the previous week. They would sit together, analyse what’s happened and look at strategies (mostly suggested by Cammy) that would help him achieve his goals.
After 5 weeks, Cammy is reporting that he’s improved his behaviour dramatically. His behaviour cards have become much better and he is enjoying being at school again. He still has work to do, but he has made some huge steps forward.
This is just one example of how Bethany’s befriending can be so significant to young people. We give children the individual space to appraise their ambitions and aspirations and help equip them to reach these goals. The young people do the work themselves and we are just there to create a safe space for them to explore their goals.