Community Buddy Volunteer

Community buddies enable children and young people with a disability to access the community or support them to take part in activities or groups of their choosing within the local community

About the opportunity

Community Buddy Volunteers will support children and young people with disabilities and/or additional needs to access their local community ages 7 - 17. This could include taking them to the shops and supporting them to choose and pay for items or supporting them to access public transport in order to provide them with key life skills and help them meet outcomes outlined at the start of their Buddy journey.

A Community Buddy Volunteer could also attend a community group or club with the young person or child, again to help them meet their outcomes ensuring that they can access the club/group with their peers and support them to take part in activities. It may be as simple as taking a child or young person to the park or the cinema; enabling them to do things their peers can do without a parent/carer. As a Buddy volunteer your role will be to help develop the young person’s confidence and skills to access clubs/group and the wider community, independently where appropriate, and helping them to achieve personal goals and outcomes.

Volunteers will be matched with young people and offer one to one support. A crucial aspect of being a volunteer Buddy will be the ability to build positive relationships which allow children and young people to feel supported to access the community.

Buddy sessions are likely to take place in a variety of local settings to be agreed between the child or young person and their family, and may include the community or clubs and activities that a child or young person requires support to attend.

All volunteering expenses including mileage to and from the child or young person’s home will be paid. Families pay a set rate of either £6.50 or £3.25 per hour if they are on the concessionary rate, this will be paid directly to Hampshire County Council. If a volunteer is required to take a child to an activity such as the cinema, families will provide the money for both the child or young person and the volunteer to attend.

Training

Volunteers will receive a bespoke training program which can be personalised based on the skills a volunteer may or may not already have. Volunteers will also have access to a Volunteer Coordinator, who will provide individual support to all volunteers on the Buddy Scheme. This support will include guidance, advice, and supervision whilst they are delivering their volunteering activities.

Tasks and duties

The Volunteer will:

  • work with the Volunteer Coordinator to agree a match with the child or young person
  • attend an initial meeting with the child or young person and their family or carer and the Buddy Scheme Volunteer Coordinator, to agree the support that will be offered. Taking the outcomes the child or young person and their family have indicated on the initial referral form into consideration, as well as gaining an understanding of the support that will be needed at an activity or out in the community. This initial meeting will also give the volunteer a chance to meet with the child or young person and start building a relationship with them
  • take the child or young person out into the community or to an activity or club and deliver support for a minimum of six months
  • record and share monitoring information as agreed

Volunteers may be a Buddy for multiple children or young people (depending upon the time commitment they are able to offer.)

Commitment and availability

Volunteers will need to commit to regular visits which depending on the child or young person’s preference might be on a weekly or monthly basis.

Visits can take place on weekdays or weekends generally during the following time periods: As agreed in the matching process.

  • 9am to 12 midday (morning)
  • midday to 6pm (afternoon)
  • 6pm to 8pm (evening)

The amount of support each child or young person requires will vary depending on the outcomes that they have selected and upon their individual needs. The amount and timing of support will be discussed with the child or young person and their family and agreed at the initial matching meeting.

How to apply

Buddy Scheme logo

 

Who we are looking for

If you are 18+ from any background, previous experience is not essential as training and support will be provided. We are seeking volunteers who can:

  • Communicate well with children, families and other professionals
  • Build and maintain positive relationships with children and young people
  • Listen and remain calm and impartial when dealing with children and young people
  • Record information accurately
  • Respect differing views of individuals and work in a non-judgmental way
  • Respect confidentiality and the agreed information sharing process
  • Have the confidence to report concerns to their Volunteer Coordinator
  • Be able to describe their role and maintain professional boundaries