Westminster Befriend a Family

“Nobody has helped me like WBAF”

boy holding hand

“Nobody has helped me like WBAF”

Sarah had deteriorating living conditions

Sarah is originally from Afghanistan. A mother of two sons, Ahmed and Abdullah, she has benefited from a range of support services from Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF), including emotional support and help with translating and reading of documents.

Recently WBAF helped Sarah get funding for some essential household items. She had a leaky washing machine so was unable to use it, and a bed with broken slats and a mattress with protruding springs, so she regularly slept on the floor against her doctor’s advice. Deteriorating living conditions often meant sleepless nights and mounting stress, which in turn affected the well-being of her sons.

With the help of WBAF’s befriending volunteer, Sarah was able to apply for a grant to purchase a new washing machine and one new mattress, used by her eldest son. Less than she needed but hugely appreciated. It has gone a long way to reducing her stress and lifting her mood.

“Nobody has helped me like WBAF,” she said, and WBAF continues to help Sarah and her family help themselves.

Spread the goodwill! Send a text to help a Westminster family.

Help a family poster jpg version

Our Christmas text campaign poster

There’s only one more day until Christmas, and there’s still time to take a few moments out of your day to tap into the spirit of goodwill and help families in need in Westminster.

All you need to do to to get involved is text ‘WBAF15’ and your donation amount in £’s (e.g. ‘WBAF15 £3’) to 70070. We are grateful for every donation, no matter the amount. 100% will be passed onto us by Vodafone and JustTextGiving, and enable us to carry on supporting local families in poverty over the coming year. We’re running this campaign throughout December, so you can donate after Christmas as well.

Thanks to the kindness and enthusiasm of those in the Westminster community – including our local schools and venues who collaborated to bring us four wonderful Christmas Carol concerts (read about this on our blog here) – and the valuable efforts of our volunteers who donated their time to be bucket collectors and to spread the word about our text campaign, lots of people have so far donated a smile and, most importantly, practical aid to the disadvantaged children of Westminster and their families.

We strongly believe that we can do much more, but in order to do so we need your help. Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you will always be up to date, share our initiatives and projects with your friends and family, or help us by donating. Even the smallest amount makes a difference and can mean that a family in need gets the help they deserve  Join us in the coming year to help improve local children’s lives and give them a chance at a brighter future.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from everyone at WBAF!

Time is money

“Time is Money!” is a phrase that was coined (excuse the pun) by Benjamin Franklin.

It means that time is valuable and if you are not using it efficiently you are losing money.


Value is an interesting thing; market forces often determine how much something is worth. However, value can also be determined by the worth that an individual chooses to bestow.

There is a website called www.Peopleperhour.com that allows people to advertise their services and determine how much they want to charge. On it, you can find people from the same professions charging from as little as £8 an hour to £300 for the same service – with little discernable difference in what’s on offer.

In our society, it is so easy to treat people the same way that we treat things by placing a value on them according to their jobs or net worth. If the President of the United States had to have a life-saving blood transfusion and the only suitable donor happened to be a beggar, he would still have the transfusion. On any other day the president probably would not have given the beggar a second look. It is the same red blood that flows through our veins – princes and paupers alike, and sickness and problems have a way of resetting our value systems.

To some people that we work with “time” is not money – it is life. To them, every day, every hour, every minute and every second is not accounted for in terms of profit and loss but in terms of survival or loss. To them, time can mean the difference between having a home or being made homeless, having enough food or having to go without.

At Christmas, we had a party for the families that we work with. What made it very special was the various companies that chose to add value to it by allowing their employees to organise it, provide entertainment, and presents for the children.

The time that those employees sacrificed translated into special memories of warmth, fun, joy, happiness and presents for the children of vulnerable families in Westminster. And judging by the photos, those employees also had a good time.

You see, time does not have to be money – although, money certainly helps. However, it can also be your expertise, your advice, a sponsored event, or donated goods. Time has whatever value we chose to place on it.

A special thank you to Experian, British Land, Land Securities, John Lewis and the Volunteer Centre for showing that time can be more than money.


Nat Cato
Communications Team


Every Second Counts…

Please support us by making a text donation.

Your text donations are free! Your network provider won’t charge you for them.
100% of your donation will be used to keep our Family Services running.

Text:  Time01  £2 / £5 / £10 to 70070

to donate now!



For more information: www.befriendafamily.co.uk/every-second-counts/

Every Second Counts is a campaign run by Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) to raise funds to provide practical help and support to disadvantaged families in Westminster who are unable to cope with the debilitating problems they are going through.