Best Friends is an innovative three year project funded by the BIG Lottery to support young people between the ages of 16-21 years of age, not in education, employment or training (NEET) living in Swansea and Carmarthenshire.
We want to help young people with their personal development, help them overcome personal barriers and challenge them to expand their abilities. This support will not only enable our young people to better meet the skills needed in the workplace; as identified by local employers but will also create more valuable citizens. Within Best Friend, key to this support will be the use of animals to develop young people. It is widely acknowledged that young people who are taught to extend fairness and kindness to animals become more kind, and considerate in their relations to each other thus creating more empathetic, just and law-abiding adults.
Young people will be offered group and one to one support, a range of training, volunteering and work placement opportunities and subject to interview the opportunity to become a pet and friends’ visitor within one of the residential homes participating in the project. Working with older members of society will enable our young people to learn about perspectives. They can share life experiences, values, ideas, beliefs and outlooks. We want to break the barriers between the generations and nurture caring relationships, providing emotional and social support.
We will also be working with older volunteers who will work with their own or rescued animals to help build and facilitate these relationships between young and older people.
The project is delivered in partnership with Greyhound Rescue Wales