How will I be matched with a child?
The enrolment and interview process helps us to get to know your preferences as well as the situation best suited for you. It also helps you to get to know us and the programme expectations. We take into account your personality, likes, dislikes, age preferences, background and location. However, the final decision is yours.
How do children enter the programme?
Children and parents may hear about BBBS from a teacher, a counsellor, their church, a friend, advertising, etc. All children and their parents choose to be in our programme.
Who are the young people in the programme?
Our young people come from many types of home environments and family structures; different social-economic levels, ethnic backgrounds, and neighbourhoods and schools that cross all communities. Their backgrounds and personalities are unique, but they all have a need for friendship with a caring adult.
Who are the Mentors in the programme?
Our Mentors come from diverse backgrounds, just like our Little Brothers and Little Sisters. They are regular people, just like you. You don’t need any special degrees or special skills. You just have to want to have a positive impact on a young person in need. What you have or haven’t accomplished isn’t an issue. Role models come in all shapes and sizes, and you could be a perfect fit!
When can I see my Little Brother or Little Sister?
Our Mentors and Little Brothers or Little Sisters decide together what they want to do, with parental approval. We recommend that you keep a consistent schedule of outings and you see each other on a regular basis. We will provide specific guidelines on expected frequency of activities with your Little Brother or Little Sister. Until your relationship is established, the outings will also depend on the comfort level of the parent, the young person and you. If your Little Brother or Little Sister is quite young, a shorter outing might be better.
How much money should I spend?
We discourage you from spending a lot of money on your outings. The goal of the relationship is friendship. You should focus your time on getting to know each other. We encourage you to seek out free or low-cost activities, especially in the beginning. You may also receive notices of opportunities for free tickets for your match to attend a variety of cultural and sporting activities.
What are some good ideas for outings with my Little Brother or Little Sister?
Share an activity that gives you something in common to talk about. Buy a comic book to read to each other, play a board game, or take a ride in the car with the radio on while you discuss music! You want to select activities that give each of you a chance to learn more about one another. For children, playing can be learning. Most importantly: keep it simple and have FUN!
Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
In the beginning it is important for you and your Little Brother or Little Sister to get to know each other. This can happen best on a one-to-one basis. Over time it is also valuable for your Little Brother or Little Sister to get to know the people who are important to you. Keep in mind that if you’re spending lots of time with others your Little Brother or Little Sister may begin to feel jealous or neglected. Remember that the main focus is the friendship YOU have with your Little Brother or Little Sister.
What kind of support can I expect from BBBS once I get matched?
Once you are matched with your Little Brother or Little Sister, a Mentor Coordinator from the agency will be in regular contact with you to provide assistance and give feedback. Anytime you are unsure about what to do or how to handle a situation, you will have a Mentoring Coordinator there to help. You’ll receive ideas for activities, guidance for handling possible difficult situations and feedback on how you are making a difference, just by showing up! You will be joining over 280,000 other volunteers in the BBBS family around the world!
Where does Big Brothers Big Sisters funding come from?
BBBS is a non-profit organisation supported by funds from generous donors including individuals, central and local government, philanthropic trusts and corporations.
How do I make a donation to Big Brothers Big Sisters?
If you would like to find out how to make a donation or regularly support Big Brothers Big Sisters, please click here
How is my donation used? (Where does my money go?)
Your donation will support the Nelson BBBS agency. As a professional mentoring organisation, BBBS requires resources to maintain well-trained staff to screen volunteers, make matches, and support relationships between Mentors and Little Brothers and Sisters.