BOB, Safe and VSU Information
Be Our Buddy
Be Our Buddy (B.O.B.) is a befriending service, focusing on empowering young mildly to moderately disabled people (aged 8-18 yrs) to attend social activities on their own, reducing their social isolation and improving their confidence. It gives them the opportunity to experience local, fun activities, within a safe social context, with their Buddy.Be Our Buddy volunteers (aged from 16 yrs) build a one-to-one relationship with their young person, helping them to build social networks, whilst supporting them to engage in local clubs and activities.We require volunteer buddies to commit to meeting with their matched young person for 2 hours per week for a period of up to 6 months. All volunteers are DBS checked and will have undergone our B.O.B. training.
Weekend Fun Clubs
Weekend Fun Clubs (WFCs) offer day and overnight short breaks for young disabled people aged 10-14 and 14-18. The aim is to enable them to access mainstream activities with others their own age and to have fun! WFC offers each group one activity a month, either a weekend day, or an overnight weekend residential. Experienced and trained staff help with any medication or personal care needs and young volunteers buddy up to encourage and support the participants to enjoy the fun, new experiences on offer!
SAFE stands for Suicide Awareness for Everyone. It is a youth-led project which aims to raise awareness of mental health and break down the stigma attached to this, allowing young people to talk more openly about any issues they may be facing. SAFE offers peer support in order to provide a safe space, signposting and knowledge of places to go for help. We aim to help young people to recognize the danger signs of mental health and to ultimately reduce the occurrence of youth suicide.
Case Study – Be Our Buddy
Lily and Molly
Molly, volunteer buddy, met Lily, participant, at our Cathy’s Café in Dartford; a natural match was formed here and from then on, Molly has been supporting Lily at a trampolining club every Wednesday. Lily is autistic, has learning difficulties, non-verbal communication and socially isolated. Lily’s Mum has previously found it difficult to find clubs and activities that meet Lily’s needs.
The trampolining club has accommodated Lily’s need and always makes her and Molly feel welcome. Lily loves her time here and has been attending every week for the last three months. Lily has formed a positive, trusting relationship with Molly and looks forward to seeing her each week. Molly communicates with Lily through simple language, combined with hand gestures and actions, to engage her in the activity, always encouraging and reassuring her.
Molly has, and is enjoying her time with Lily and seeing her developing confidence and having fun. Lily now gets herself on to the trampoline and no longer needs to hold on to Molly to bounce, although she still prefers Molly bouncing her! Lily has now been awarded 2 badges and is currently working towards her third one. Mum has fed back that Be Our Buddy is “the best thing they’ve ever done” and is very appreciative of Molly’s time, commitment, patience and caring personality.
Lily is now aiming to bounce independently, without the need for Molly to be so close and Molly says that she would love to see her on the trampoline on her own in the next few months!