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.