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.
A community buddy is:
- a volunteer or a paid member of staff from either a CQC registered provider or a community organisation
- interviewed, checked and trained before they are approved
- matched to the child or young person best suited to them
- Who can use a community buddy
Community buddies are for children and young people from 7 to 17 years old who:
- have a disability
- are aged between 7 and 17 years
- require support to take part in leisure, recreation activities or accessing the community
- live in the Hampshire County Council authority area (excludes Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight and neighbouring authorities)
- have a digital Gateway Card+
- How community buddies can help
We recognise that accessing a club, group or the community can be a challenge for our children and young people with a disability. A Community buddy can help your child or young person to take part in activities with their peers and feel supported to try new things. As part of the referral form you and your child/young person can decide on outcomes they would like to achieve when spending time with their Buddy, this will not only ensure that your child/young person is receiving a quality service but support them when accessing the community or an activity/group.
The Buddy Scheme aims to support your child/young person with the following:
- go with a young person to their chosen activity, giving them time away from home
- help the young person to do things they want to do and support them to achieve their specified outcomes
- provide support for all leisure activities
- support or child or young person to access the community
- support a child or young person to be able to use public transport or manage their money • accessing a club or group of their choice
- build confidence
If your child or young person requires personal care or administration of medicine whilst out in the community, they will be matched with our CQC registered providers to ensure that this is not a barrier to them doing the things they would like to do with their Buddy.
- When you can use a community buddy
As part of the referral, you can specify when your child or young person would like to be supported by their Buddy. It may be the case that they require support at a specific club or activity that falls on the same time and day every week or it may be that your child or young person would like to go out into town for a couple of hours each weekend so all referrals will vary based on your child’s needs. You can specify what times and days during term time and in the school holidays as in the referral and this will go to our Buddy Scheme providers and will help them match a suitable Buddy to your child or young person.
It costs a family £6.50 per hour for a community buddy, you will also need to factor in paying for any travel that the Buddy is required to do to go to an activity, group etc and if there is a cost for an activity or sundries such as food or drink. If you are being supported by one of our Buddy Scheme Providers, they will inform you of how to make the payment, if you are being supported by one of our Volunteer Buddies then Hampshire County Council will inform you of the payment process.
- Useful information
- Buddy Scheme hours are capped at a maximum of 25 hours per child per month subject to availability (hours cannot be rolled forward or accumulated).
- The Buddy Scheme provider or Volunteer Service will contact you directly to arrange a meeting with yourself and your child or young person in order to match a Buddy.
- There will be an agreement between yourselves, the provider/volunteer and the Council that details; hours, payment and outcomes for your child/young person.
- Referral and further questions
- Volunteer to be a community buddy