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We believe in Mia and all our brilliant Independent Visitors

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

Mia was supported through the care system by Barnardo’s and had her own Independent Visitor. Now she wants to be that same positive role model for someone else.

Mia

Mia, it’s good to meet you. Can I ask what being an Independent Visitor involves?

Hi! It’s meeting up with a young person in care once a month and spending a few hours with each other. Letting them have the space to be themselves, giving them total say over the activities you plan together. You’re matched on your interests – whether you’re outdoorsy, arty, mathematical…

Why do you think the role of an Independent Visitor is so important to a child or young person in care?
You’re often the first person in that young person’s life who hasn’t been paid to be there. An adult who shows you a healthy, consistent relationship and dedicates time to you – that’s invaluable.

What kind of activities do you and your young person do together?
We’ve roller skated, rode the Ferris wheel, cycled and played football in the park. He’s keen to try go-karting and I’ve looked into boxercise. He likes quite adventurous activities!

Amelia Westbury

“Being an IV is about showing a young person that you’re committed and are going to show up for them. Consistency can make such a huge difference to a young person in care.”

Mia

What was having an Independent Visitor like when you were in care?
Mine really wanted to know me as a person. When I went to school I’d refer to her as family and say I saw my auntie at the weekend. I’d fit in and have something to talk about. She taught me to be proud of myself.

Was she the reason you become an Independent Visitor?
Totally! She always made me feel genuinely cared for, never forgot a thing and would be there ready to congratulate me. Whenever good things happen, she’s still one of the first people I text. So I wanted to give back and be that person for someone else.

What do you most enjoy about being an Independent Visitor?
What I’m doing often feels small, then I look back and remember what the visits meant to me. It’s really nice to see my young person being himself.

Find out how you can support the work of independent visitors like Mia

Becoming an Independent Visitor can be so rewarding and make an incredible difference to the life of a young person in care. Find out how you can support that work by leaving a gift in your Will.

 A gift in your Will is a special way to mark the experiences that shape you – and pass on the gift of childhood to future generations.

This content is sponsored by Barnardo's

Last modified: September 7, 2021

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