The Buddy Scheme is a mentoring and befriending service which currently has a very experienced, full time project coordinator and 19 trained volunteer mentors (or buddies) who, after receiving full training from us, each support between one and three service users at any one time. They do this in the form of weekly, one to one visits in the service user’s home for around an hour. Usually these relationships last for around 4 – 5 months, but this is very much an average and we have relationships which can be a good deal longer or shorter.
During these weekly meetings the buddies aim to provide a listening ear and emotional support and encouragement. By doing this, they help service users to exercise control and choice over their own lives by increasing feelings of self confidence and self-esteem, increasing opportunities for social networking and trying to reduce feelings of isolation. In short, the buddy’s role is to allow our service users to reach their fullest potential and independence.
It’s not all about the service users though, our buddies usually have their own story to tell and some are ex service users so buddying is often a continuation of their own journey. We are very keen that volunteers are included in all that Splitz does so they are invited to all team events and training days in addition to receiving support from the co-ordinator and other members of the Splitz team and receiving regular updates via our monthly newsletter, “The Column”. Our buddies report that they find volunteering for us a very positive experience.
We believe that through a sensitive, inclusive approach to both our volunteers and clients, the Buddy Scheme has made a real difference to peoples’ lives.
“The Buddy Scheme is a great service for both the service user and buddy; it creates confidence on both sides.” (Sarah, service user)
If you want to volunteer on the Buddy Scheme, click here to get an application form
We are accredited by Investing in Volunteers and Mentoring and Befriending Foundation