Uniting Friends was launched in 1996 by its current CEO Russell Lerner. Originally managed by Barnardos, it was created as a service to support young adults in transition. Its focus was to create a befriending and advocacy service.
In 2001, the service gained independence and charitable status and created a management board. Breaking away from Barnardos enabled Uniting Friends to obtain grants and funding for the many services it needed to operate, most of which are still in operation today.
Back in the day, Uniting Friends ran with just 3 staff. Today Uniting Friends runs with a staff team of 32 and is a leading social care provider for social inclusion.
It currently operates a large and busy innovative day opportunities service, an evening and weekend befriending service, a ground to fork allotment project, a nightclub and radio show.