Buddy Up is a truly special mentoring and befriending project which works with young people who have disabilities and matches them up with positive role models who become their ‘Buddies’, helping them to grow in confidence, make new friends and practice independence skills.
Registered Charity in England and Wales (1101086)
It’s about getting out and about with people my own age. When I was getting started I didn’t talk too much but I talk quite a lot now. My Buddy takes care of me when we’re out. If it wasn’t for them I’d just sit in my bedroom. I might go to the shops with Mum but it wouldn’t be the same.
The Buddy Up programme supports children and young people who are disadvantaged by a range of disabilities and learning difficulties. The project addresses issues such as: - Acute risk of social isolation - Difficulty forming friendships - Physical barriers to participation including transport and finance - Limited opportunities to develop independence skills - Lack of places in the community in which disabled children feel safe, supported and a sense of belonging
We facilitate Buddy Up relationships by recruiting and training young volunteers, and facilitating suitable matches between children and Buddies. Buddy Up relationships meet weekly, often within the supportive environment of our evening Youth Clubs, to explore a variety of fun activities led by the interests of the child. In addition to this valuable one-to-one service, children receive free access to a range of inclusive group activities such as gym sessions, cinema nights and group trips.
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