Changing Futures North East
Our mission is to help every young person and child across the Tees Valley area to thrive and be the best they can be. We help and support families by improving relationships and help young people create healthy relationships with both adults and people their own age.

We are Changing Futures North East, a charity helping create healthy relationships for young people and children across the north east for over 20 years. We are based on The Headland in Hartlepool, but we serve the entire Teesside and Tees Valley region. We have many other branches to our organisation, including providing mediation services, parenting when separated courses, and even a not-for-profit fostering service. No matter what we do, we are dedicated to helping young people, children and families reach their potential.


We believe that every child and young person deserves the best start in life, no matter the circumstances. We know that helping children and young people create healthy relationships with adults and people their own age can be huge in developing their confidence. We want young people in care to feel supported, listened to, and be able to have fun with someone, which is why our volunteer scheme is so important.

50+ volunteers matched with young people across the Tees Valley area
Providing help to local families and young people for over 20 years
Our organisation growing and evolving so we can help more people across the area

For our befriender role with young people in care, we are looking for volunteers who are:


  • Reliable and committed. Befriending is a long-term commitment, so we need volunteers who can show up on time and regularly. We understand that life happens, but we ask that volunteers communicate with us any cancellations or changes to their schedules as soon as possible.
  • Compassionate and empathetic. Young people in care have often experienced trauma and loss. We need volunteers who can be patient, understanding, and supportive. We also need volunteers who can listen without judgment and offer encouragement.
  • Positive and enthusiastic. We want volunteers who can bring a positive attitude to their befriending relationships. We also want volunteers who are excited to learn about and engage with the young people they befriend.
  • Flexible and adaptable. Young people in care have a wide range of interests and needs. We need volunteers who are flexible and willing to do different activities with their young person. We also need volunteers who are adaptable and can adjust their approach depending on the situation.
  • Respectful and non-judgmental. We want volunteers who respect the young people they befriend, their choices, and their opinions. We also need volunteers who are non-judgmental and can accept the young people for who they are.


In addition to these qualities, we also prefer volunteers who have some experience working with young people, either professionally or personally. However, this is not required. We provide all of our volunteers with comprehensive training, including information on child protection, confidentiality, and building rapport with young people.

If you are a reliable, compassionate, and positive individual who is interested in making a difference in the life of a young person in care, we encourage you to apply for our befriender role.


Although the independent visitor scheme runs nationwide, we are the only organisation across the Tees Valley region. Our volunteer programme is unique and gives volunteers an opportunity to form a real long-term bond with a young person. It is also a volunteer opportunity where you get to take control, rather than have us tell you and your young person what to do. This allows you and the young person to decide on activities based on what you like doing, and any hobbies and interests you may have. 

Our Opportunities

Independent Visitor
Changing Futures North East
Min. 104 Weeks Minimum weeks
Independent Visitor
Community, Young People, Refugees

Supporting a young person living in care. It is a befriending role that is built over time. ONLY AVAILABLE TO UK HOME STUDENTS