Sova Gloucestershire Independent Visitors

At Sova Gloucestershire Independent Visitors we find, train and support volunteers to provide an Independent Visitor service to children and young people aged 5 to 17 who are in care.


We match each volunteer with a child or young person who needs extra support and encouragement, sometimes because they have little or no contact with their own families. The volunteer is there as someone ‘independent’ in the young person’s life, distinct from the professionals paid to support them. They might take the young person to the cinema or to the park, encourage them to try a new sport or hobby, support them at meetings or simply be there to talk to. It makes a real difference to a young person to know they have someone who is on their side, who has chosen to be there for them.

All of our volunteers are fully trained and supported and are asked to meet with their young person at least twice a month for a couple of hours. Sova Gloucestershire Independent Visitors is funded by Gloucestershire County Council.
 
For further information about how to become one of our volunteers please contact us at gloucestershireiv@sova.org.uk

Feedback and quotes

"We get on well and have a lot of fun"
Josie has had her IV Laura since 2011. They have fallen into the routine of visits every other Wednesday without fail, and Laura has shown herself to be highly committed to Josie and has a genuine concern for her wellbeing. Throughout their relationship, Laura has supported Josie through a change of school, up and down contact with her mum and siblings, anger issues and more recently changes in where she is living. Laura said she thought of Josie as her "adopted third child” and treated her as she would her own children, while respecting the boundaries of the relationship. “We get on well and have a lot of fun on our visits” said Laura.

“Josie needs a combination of love and affection and discipline in equal measures, plus an outlet for controlling her anger. I won’t ever give up on Josie and I’ll be her Independent Visitor until she is 18 or as long as she wants one.”

"It’s great to get a positive response"
WHAT Independent Visitors have had to say...
 
  • “Whenever we go out we always both really enjoy ourselves, she always manages to make us both laugh.”
  • “Going out with me young person is never-ending funny stories.”
  • “I can’t wait to see what she has been up to since our last time i saw her.”
  • “My young person is always happy to hear from me and is always up for a visit. It’s great to get that positive response.”
  • “It’s a great thing to do, it brings your focus onto other people, situations and reality and you find yourself doing activities you’d never normally do.”
  •  “It’s nice to feel you are making a difference in someone’s life and you can forget about everyday stress.”

"Always helpful in the best of ways"
WHAT young people have to say about their Independent Visitors....
 
  •  “He is nice and always helpful in the best of ways. He is the best.”
  •  “She is really funny and helps me with everything from boys to actual life, she always has good advice and understands me.”
  • “He listens and talks to me.”
  •  “She listens to my problems. I feel like she is always there if I need her.”
  •  “He gives me advice, tells me to keep calm and not get angry, and tells me things will be better if I don’t get so mad.”
  • “I feel better for having my volunteer, she has helped me understand it is OK to be in foster care and I have made friends with other kids from Sova who live near my house.”
“"We get on well and have a lot of fun"”