WBAF Supports Refugees in Westminster

Families who have fled from Afghanistan and other countries have arrived in Westminster seeking safety.
WBAF’s trained mentors are helping them to find their feet and settle in, with practical, social and emotional support.
Please help us by donating here.

WHAT WE DO

Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) supports families and young people to identify and achieve their goals, making life-changing transformations that get them where they want to be.

We’ve been supporting the community in Westminster for over 30 years, and we now serve the neighbouring boroughs too. We run two key programmes: 

    • Broadening Horizons, a programme of mentoring for young people aged 10 – 25
    • Mentoring for Mums, for women with children aged 5+

For both programmes we train and supervise volunteer mentors who provide regular one to one support in person, over the phone and online.

Our programmes boost well-being, increase connectedness and enable people to flourish as their autonomy and confidence grows.

 

WHAT WE DO

Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) supports families and young people to identify and achieve their goals, making life-changing transformations that get them where they want to be.

We’ve been supporting the community in Westminster for over 30 years, and we now serve the neighbouring boroughs too. We run two key programmes: 

    • Broadening Horizons, a programme of mentoring for young people aged 10 – 25
    • Mentoring for Mums, for women with children aged 5+

For both programmes we train and supervise volunteer mentors who provide regular one to one support in person, over the phone and online.

Our programmes boost well-being, increase connectedness and enable people to flourish as their autonomy and confidence grows.

 


“Support for young people is important in ensuring the city’s recovery. This is why I have selected Westminster Befriend a Family to be my chosen charity, and I look forward to championing their mission throughout my term and beyond.”

OUR IMPACT

‘It’s been crazy how well I got along with my mentor and how much we had in common. Our sessions were so relaxed. My mentor cleared up so many questions I had and gave me so much advice about my future, university and film and camera because that’s what I want to go into.’

-Young Person

‘It has been a pleasure the be matched with my mentee, we both clicked straight away and our sessions have good energy. I have learnt a lot from the mentoring and could relate to my mentee’s experience.’

-Mentor

‘Having a mentor gave me the structure I needed during the second lock down when I felt fed-up and bored, I felt that meeting my mentor every Sunday was what I needed during a difficult period….When our mentoring sessions were coming to an end my mentor helped me to find a work placement at a hospital.’

-Young Person

‘My mentor makes me feel comfortable and over the weeks, I learnt to trust her. I am able to tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else and shares my recipes. I can be myself and never feel judged’

-Mum

OUR IMPACT

‘It’s been crazy how well I got along with my mentor and how much we had in common. Our sessions were so relaxed. My mentor cleared up so many questions I had and gave me so much advice about my future, university and film and camera because that’s what I want to go into.’

-Young Person

‘It has been a pleasure the be matched with my mentee, we both clicked straight away and our sessions have good energy. I have learnt a lot from the mentoring and could relate to my mentee’s experience.’

-Mentor

‘Having a mentor gave me the structure I needed during the second lock down when I felt fed-up and bored, I felt that meeting my mentor every Sunday was what I needed during a difficult period….When our mentoring sessions were coming to an end my mentor helped me to find a work placement at a hospital.’

-Young Person

‘My mentor makes me feel comfortable and over the weeks, I learnt to trust her. I am able to tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else and shares my recipes. I can be myself and never feel judged’

-Mum

70%

of participants at the end of the programme say that mentoring has improved their life.

100%

of participants would
recommend WBAF to a friend.

82%

of participants at the end of the programme say they feel confident often or all of the time. Three times as many as at the start.

70%

of participants at the end of the programme say that mentoring has improved their life.

100%

of participants would
recommend WBAF to a friend.

82%

of participants at the end of the programme say they feel confident often or all of the time. Three times as many as at the start.

VOLUNTEER & DONATE

VOLUNTEER & DONATE

Volunteer and Donate

Help us to support more young people and mums. As we support more individuals through the power of mentoring. We are asking for:

Volunteers: Amazing volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. We are looking for volunteers who can dedicate a hour a week to mentoring a young person or a mum. Full training and DBS is offered.

Once we have received your completed application, we will invite you for a meeting. If you are successful, we will put you forward for a mentoring training course. 

Donations: Any amount you can spare is welcome. 

Donate now on our Just Giving page.

You can also help swell donations to the charity whenever you shop online – and it won’t cost you any more than you would have spent. How? By doing your shop using Amazon Smile!

 

Join us and do something amazing!

Keep scrolling to learn more about what our mentoring programmes include!

Volunteer and Donate

Help us to support more young people and mums. As we support more individuals through the power of mentoring. We are asking for:

Volunteers: Amazing volunteers are at the heart of everything we do. We are looking for volunteers who can dedicate a hour a week to mentoring a young person or a mum. Full training and DBS is offered.

Once we have received your completed application, we will invite you for a meeting. If you are successful, we will put you forward for a mentoring training course. 

Donations: Any amount you can spare is welcome. 

Donate now on our Just Giving page.

You can also help swell donations to the charity whenever you shop online – and it won’t cost you any more than you would have spent. How? By doing your shop using Amazon Smile!

 

Join us and do something amazing!

Keep scrolling to learn more about what our mentoring programmes include!

PROGRAMmeS

Broadening Horizons - Mentoring for young people

Broadening Horizons empowers young people to achieve their goals in life.

Trained and supervised mentors are matched to a young person aged 10-25, and they work with them on a weekly basis for 12 to 24 sessions, 1 hour per week. Mentors offer support tailored to young people’s needs including but not limited to careers, education, family and social life, and boost confidence and wellbeing.

Mentors may, for instance, help the young person to work out what goals they want to achieve and how to get there, help them explore other routes to employment such as learning a trade or applying for a work placement, provide support in enhancing participant’s soft skills, or simply be someone that the young person can talk to about what’s happening in their lives.

It’s an incredibly popular programme amongst young people which can boost participant’s confidence, resilience, aspirations, and motivation.

Mentoring for Mums

Mentoring for mums (M4M) programme provides emotional, social, and practical support to mothers of children aged 5 and up, either online, over the phone, or face to face.

Over 12 to 24 weeks mentors offer weekly coaching-style support to empower mums to identify changes they wish to make and goals they wish to achieve. Volunteers provide a listening ear and support mums to get where they want to be.

Together, the mentor and mentee explore how to achieve the goals and deal with individual challenges, such as building confidence, getting into employment or education, make social connections or provide emotional support to those facing challenges as parents.

Mothers’ Support Group

Our Mothers’ support groups for mothers are extremely popular.

They are peer support groups in the format of coffee mornings. The group is facilitated by a sessional worker and supported by a volunteer, but it is a parent-led group, meaning that the women attending decide on the issues they want to discuss or how they want to use the time.

These last for two hours and are an excellent way for mothers to meet, socialise, share advice and learn something new each week, such as sewing or learning a new recipe.

If you are interested in participating, please email admin@befriendafamily.co.uk.

The Team

Dee Hamilton
Business Support Outreach Officer

Hedviga David
Parent Services Manager

Ada Celebi
Young Peoples Services Manager

Hasmita Chavda
Digital and Impact Consultant

Denise Ward
Social Work Consultant

OUR TRUSTEES

Noreen Sumra joined the Board as Chair in December 2017. Noreen is a solicitor specialising in employment law, currently on a career break. She has served as a Chair of a BME Housing Association and also of a charity providing reading mentors to primary schools in Berkshire. Noreen also sits on the Board of a Multi-Academy Trust based in Berkshire and is on the Board of Citizens Advice, Hillingdon.

Vicky Kafetzi is a communications and engagement specialist working in the transport sector. She has over 15 years experience of providing strategic advice, to create the best environment for delivery of projects and operations that keep our great city moving.

Sabrina Vashisht has been volunteering with WBAF since 2013 to support mothers and their families, and joined the Board in 2017. She works as the Senior Grants Manager at Street Child, an international NGO, securing funds from and reporting to a range of institutional donors, trusts and foundations.

Ravi Verma is an experienced finance executive who has worked across broadcast media, hospitality and leisure industries, working for owner-managed, FTSE 100 PLCs and private equity-backed businesses. Ravi specialises in providing strategic direction and operational efficiencies.

Xi Chu joined the Board as Treasurer. She has a Master’s degree in Real Estate Economics and Finance from the London School of Economics. She started her career training as a Chartered Accountant in KPMG, then moved to Treasury Finance at Barclays Investment Bank. Today she works as Lead Financial Planning and Analysis Manager at Revolut, a Fintech company based in London.

Dan Gibson is an MBA-trained marketing leader with over 20 years experience advising brands and social enterprises across UK, Europe and Asia. An Oxford graduate and former MD at Ogilvy and Havas, today he is a GM & Director at BeenThereDoneThat, a disruptor marketing consultancy.

Matt Wright has a background in leading customer and colleague transformation programmes across hospitality and retail, both in the UK and China. He has a passion for developing individuals and teams.

Grace Xia is a doctor in General Psychiatry with clinical experience in community and inpatient settings across different medical specialties and subspecialties in psychiatry. She has a passion for teaching and a keen interest in Perinatal and Child Psychiatry, and her work is currently focused in Westminster and the neighbouring boroughs.


SUPPORTED BY

WBAF Supports Refugees in Westminster

Families who have fled from Afghanistan and other countries have arrived in Westminster seeking safety.
WBAF’s trained mentors are helping them to find their feet and settle in, with practical, social and emotional support.
Please help us by donating here.

WHAT WE DO

Westminster Befriend a Family (WBAF) has been supporting families across Westminster since 1989. We support families and young people to identify and achieve their goals, making life-changing transformations that get them where they want to be.

We’ve been supporting the community in Westminster for over 30 years, and we now serve the neighbouring boroughs too. We run two key programmes: 

  • Broadening Horizons, a programme of mentoring for young people aged 10 – 25.
  • Mentoring for Mums, for women with children aged 5+. 

For both programmes we train and supervise volunteer mentors who provide regular one to one support in person, over the phone and online.

Our programmes boost well-being, increase connectedness and enable people to flourish as their autonomy and confidence grows.


“Support for young people is important in ensuring the city’s recovery. This is why I have selected Westminster Befriend a Family to be my chosen charity, and I look forward to championing their mission throughout my term and beyond.”

OUR IMPACT

‘It’s been crazy how well I got along with my mentor and how much we had in common. Our sessions were so relaxed. My mentor cleared up so many questions I had and gave me so much advice about my future, university and film and camera because that’s what I want to go into.’

-Young Person

‘It has been a pleasure the be matched with my mentee, we both clicked straight away and our sessions have good energy. I have learnt a lot from the mentoring and could relate to my mentee’s experience.’

-Mentor

‘Having a mentor gave me the structure I needed during the second lock down when I felt fed-up and bored, I felt that meeting my mentor every Sunday was what I needed during a difficult period….When our mentoring sessions were coming to an end my mentor helped me to find a work placement at a hospital.’

-Young Person

‘My mentor makes me feel comfortable and over the weeks, I learnt to trust her. I am able to tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else and shares my recipes. I can be myself and never feel judged’

-Mum

70%

of participants at the end of the programme say that mentoring has improved their life.

82%

of participants at the end of the programme say they feel confident often or all of the time. Three times as many as at the start.

100%

of participants would
recommend WBAF to a friend.

VOLUNTEER & DONATE

Volunteer and Donate

Help us to support more young people and mums. As we support more individuals through the power of mentoring. We are asking for:

Volunteers: We are looking for volunteers who can dedicate a hour a week to mentoring a young person or a mum. Full training and DBS is offered.

Once we have received your completed application, we will invite you for a meeting. If you are successful, we will put you forward for a mentoring training course

Join us and do something amazing!

Donations: Any amount you can spare is welcome. Donate now on our Just Giving page.

You can also help swell donations to the charity whenever you shop online – and it won’t cost you any more than you would have spent. How? By doing your shop using Amazon Smile!

Keep scrolling to learn more about what our mentoring programmes include!

PROGRAMMES

Broadening Horizons - Mentoring for young people

Broadening Horizons empowers young people to achieve their goals in life.

Trained and supervised mentors are matched to a young person aged 10-25, and they work with them on a weekly basis for 12 to 24 sessions, 1 hour per week. Mentors offer support tailored to young people’s needs including but not limited to careers, education, family and social life, and boost confidence and wellbeing.

Mentors may, for instance, help the young person to work out what goals they want to achieve and how to get there, help them explore other routes to employment such as learning a trade or applying for a work placement, provide support in enhancing participant’s soft skills, or simply be someone that the young person can talk to about what’s happening in their lives.

It’s an incredibly popular programme amongst young people which can boost participant’s confidence, resilience, aspirations, and motivation.

Mentoring for Mums

Mentoring for mums (M4M) programme provides emotional, social, and practical support to mothers of children aged 5 and up, either online, over the phone, or face to face.

Over 12 to 24 weeks mentors offer weekly coaching-style support to empower mums to identify changes they wish to make and goals they wish to achieve. Volunteers provide a listening ear and support mums to get where they want to be.

Together, the mentor and mentee explore how to achieve the goals and deal with individual challenges, such as building confidence, getting into employment or education, make social connections or provide emotional support to those facing challenges as parents.

Mothers’ Support Group

Our Mothers’ support groups for mothers are extremely popular.

They are peer support groups in the format of coffee mornings. The group is facilitated by a sessional worker and supported by a volunteer, but it is a parent-led group, meaning that the women attending decide on the issues they want to discuss or how they want to use the time.

These last for two hours and are an excellent way for mothers to meet, socialise, share advice and learn something new each week, such as sewing or learning a new recipe.

If you are interested in participating, please email admin@befriendafamily.co.uk.

The Team

Dee Hamilton
Business Support Outreach Officer

Hedviga David
Parent Services Manager

Ada Celebi
Young Peoples Services Manager

Hasmita Chavda
Digital and Impact Consultant

Denise Ward
Social Work Consultant

OUR TRUSTEES

Noreen Sumra joined the Board as Chair in December 2017. Noreen is a solicitor specialising in employment law, currently on a career break. She has served as a Chair of a BME Housing Association and also of a charity providing reading mentors to primary schools in Berkshire. Noreen also sits on the Board of a Multi-Academy Trust based in Berkshire and is on the Board of Citizens Advice, Hillingdon.

Vicky Kafetzi is a communications and engagement specialist working in the transport sector. She has over 15 years experience of providing strategic advice, to create the best environment for delivery of projects and operations that keep our great city moving.

Sabrina Vashisht has been volunteering with WBAF since 2013 to support mothers and their families, and joined the Board in 2017. She works as the Senior Grants Manager at Street Child, an international NGO, securing funds from and reporting to a range of institutional donors, trusts and foundations.

Ravi Verma is an experienced finance executive who has worked across broadcast media, hospitality and leisure industries, working for owner-managed, FTSE 100 PLCs and private equity-backed businesses. Ravi specialises in providing strategic direction and operational efficiencies.

Xi Chu joined the Board as Treasurer. She has a Master’s degree in Real Estate Economics and Finance from the London School of Economics. She started her career training as a Chartered Accountant in KPMG, then moved to Treasury Finance at Barclays Investment Bank. Today she works as Lead Financial Planning and Analysis Manager at Revolut, a Fintech company based in London.

Dan Gibson is an MBA-trained marketing leader with over 20 years experience advising brands and social enterprises across UK, Europe and Asia. An Oxford graduate and former MD at Ogilvy and Havas, today he is a GM & Director at BeenThereDoneThat, a disruptor marketing consultancy.

Matt Wright Matt has a background in leading customer and colleague transformation programmes across hospitality and retail, both in the UK and China. He has a passion for developing individuals and teams.

Grace Xia Grace is a doctor in General Psychiatry with clinical experience in community and inpatient settings across different medical specialties and subspecialties in psychiatry. She has a passion for teaching and a keen interest in Perinatal and Child Psychiatry, and her work is currently focused in Westminster and the neighbouring boroughs.

SUPPORTED BY