Stories of our impact

Turn a frown upside down

Helping Befriend a Child make a difference to those most in need

Turn a frown upside down is the motto of Befriend a Child, an Aberdeen charity that supports children experiencing challenges such as coping with parental drug or alcohol abuse, social isolation, bereavement or poverty.

The charity provides befriending and mentoring services by matching troubled children with adult role models, helping build the children’s confidence, self-esteem, social and communication skills. Since choosing Befriend a Child as one of our society partners in 2016, we’ve been helping them in various ways such as fundraising and team development, and this year we provided them with a much-needed way to put a value on what they do in society.

Putting a value on changing lives

Through our One Million Futures strategy, we offered Befriend a Child pro bono services to run a social impact assessment to demonstrate the impact of their work and, importantly, put a monetary value on their contribution to society – making pitching to major donors more effective. We had over 30 face-to-face and telephone meetings with volunteers, parents, guardians, children currently supported by the charity, and charity staff, which helped us forge strong relationships and gain a real understanding of the charity’s ethos.

We also spent eight weeks analysing two decades worth of statistical information and performance data held on a paper filing system, ensuring the staff could spend their time on the critical task of running the charity. A moving moment for the Deloitte team was reading through emails sent from now grown-up beneficiaries of the befriending service, who had gone on to enjoy successful and fulfilling lives, paying tribute to their befriender and thanking the charity for their support.

Making a lasting difference

Not only did our assessment show how demand for Befriend a Child’s service has increased dramatically since 2000, we used an innovative approach, in line with UK Cabinet Office guidelines, to show donors that for every £1 donated to the charity, the benefit to society is worth over £6. Rather than just focusing on the percentage of each donation that goes directly to the beneficiaries, our impact assessment quantifies the real-life value to society and gives insight into the advantages that volunteers experience – helping to increase donations and attract more volunteers. We also demonstrated that the outcomes delivered by Befriend a Child strongly align to indicators for measuring wellbeing in children and young people which the Scottish Government has published as part of its Getting It Right For Every Child policy.

We supplied Befriend a Child with two documents; one an internal, strategy focused piece, and the other a booklet for publication. The publication of the results of our evaluation received significant media coverage both in the Aberdeen area, and nationally. On the back of the report, the charity has enjoyed fundraising success, including being named as ‘Charity of the Year’ by a major, multi-national Aberdeen employer. The charity's head of fundraising has stated “I can’t imagine talking to a supporter or prospective donor without quoting the report – it has changed the language we use to talk about the charity.”

Befriend a Child believes every child deserves a happy childhood and a chance to succeed in life. We’re looking forward to being part of their efforts to raise the aspirations of Aberdeen’s most vulnerable children.


Will Black

HR, Talent and Restructuring Public Relations Manager

+44 (0)20 7007 8242

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