Buddy Up is a truly magical befriending project which supports children and young people with additional needs, who are at risk of becoming socially isolated.
Each young person referred to Buddy Up, is supported by a volunteer ‘Buddy’ within a social setting, thus supporting the young person to interact with their peers, develop social skills, gain greater social and independence skills; and ultimately aim to eliminate their social isolation. The one to one support is usually provided for a 12 month basis.
Young people attending Buddy Up will improve their social skills, and ideally forge a friendship group. They are encouraged to develop their independence and to ultimately access social groups without the support of their Buddy, and develop a degree of confidence and independence, so that they feel comfortable in participating in activities without any support
Volunteers also benefit by learning new skills and achieve a great deal of satisfaction by seeing the impact their time, compassion and endeavours can have on a young person.
Becoming a volunteer on the Buddy Up programme can also help to complement and support with the Duke of Edinburgh award, Personal Statements, CV’S and UCAS applications.
The Benefits of Buddy Up are:
- To improve social skills
- To promote independence
- To support with friendship groups
- To support greater self-esteem and confidence
The Five Key Elements to the Buddy Up Programme are:
- One to One Support – The young person will be supported by the same allocated Buddy for a minimum of 12 months within a social setting, for example; Youth Club, Cubs, Guides or Drama Groups.
- Family Film Nights – Twice a month we host a free film screening exclusive for Buddy Up for our young people to attend with their parents or carers and Buddies.
- Group Trips and Activities – Twice a month there are group trips for young people and Buddies. This further promotes independence and have included bowling, climbing and to The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.
- Gym Sessions – Every Saturday from 12.00 to 1.00pm a fitness group run by qualified Fitness Instructors is held for children and young people with additional needs in our own gym suite.
The Buddy Up programme runs all year round, though the trips and activities aspect, during the school holidays may be limited.
Young people looking to be considered as a beneficiary to the Buddy Up programme must be between the ages of 7 to 16; and this MUST be on a referral basis. Families are also able to make a self-referral independently. Please get in touch if you would like to make a referral, or indeed discuss the programme in more detail.
To volunteer to become one of our Buddies, you must be aged 14 plus.
For further information contact:
Nuvvy Sibia, Buddy Up Project Co-ordinator on 01925 977 277 or 07432 640 939 or by email Nuvvy.Sibia@wyz.org.uk