Buddy Up is a befriending project which supports children and young people with disabilities; 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, allowing the young person to interact with their peers, and gain greater social and independence skills.
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
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 the support of parents and carers.
Volunteers also benefit by learning new skills and achieve a great deal of satisfaction by seeing the impact their skills can have on a young person. Becoming a volunteer on the Buddy Up programme can help with the Duke of Edinburgh award, Personal Statements, CV’S and UCAS applications.
Hear from one of our volunteers:
“Buddy Up with WYC was not only the most enriching volunteering experience, but also the most important, and the most fun. It’s thanks to Buddy Up that I know what I want to do with my life, what to study at university, and the type of person I want to be. I have been inspired to become a social worker and study in this field, and it’s thanks to the whole team at WYC that I feel confident and supported in working with young and vulnerable people. Without the team I wouldn’t have been able to change a life the way I did, and the way they do every single day. Thanks so much for the experience!” Tasha J (18)
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 Cost to attend Buddy Up activities at the Youth Club or in the gym is 50p per session. All other activities are free.
The Buddy Up programme runs all year round, though activities during the school holidays are limited.
Young people looking to be considered as a beneficiary to the Buddy Up programme must be between the ages of 7 to 18 through a referral, this can include a self-referral from families.
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 582 851 or 07432 640 939 or by email NuvvyS@warringtonyouthclub.co.uk