Buddy Up

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Buddy Up is a mentoring and befriending project for young people aged between 13 and 18 who have additional needs and disabilities and are at risk of social isolation.

The aim of the project is to reduce social isolation, increase confidence and independence skills by providing fun social opportunities in and around Sefton. 

Activities include monthly social clubs in the north and south of Sefton for participants to meet young people of a similar age and develop their confidence. Additional activities and trips take place during evenings, some weekends and school holidays. Activities are chosen by the young people themselves based on their own interests. Examples include; 

  • ​Cinema
  • Bowling and Laser Tag
  • Shopping
  • Meals
  • Digital Media Workshops
  • Drama Workshops
  • Singing Workshops
  • Arts and Craft Workshops
  • Swimming
  • Roller Disco
  • Trampolining
  • Rock Climbing
  • Gardening
  • Cookery
  • Charity Fund Raisers (bake sales and car washes)
  • Fun Fair
  • Arcades
  • Community Events
  • Residentials

The project encourages social inclusion by recruiting and training volunteer peer mentors. The mentors are all young people aged between 13 and 25 who want to support young people with additional needs by befriending them and supporting them to take part in fun activities. 

The project works with Sefton schools, VCF sector youth providers and local colleges and universities to identify mentors who are trustworthy, capable and dedicated to volunteering within their community. We also support young people working towards their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Volunteering as a mentor is also a progression route for young people who have received support from the project in the past and want to use the skills and experiences they have gained to support younger members of the group. These mentors are fantastic role models and a huge inspiration to others.

All mentors are recruited using safe recruitment practises and require a DBS check if they are 16 or above. They also access appropriate training to develop their skills and experiences.

Project outcomes include;

  • Short breaks for parent carers
  • Reduce social isolation for young people with additional needs and disabilities
  • Inclusive and meaningful social opportunities
  • Increase confidence and self esteem
  • Increased independence skills
  • Preparation for a more independent adulthood
  • Opportunities to gain volunteer experiences
  • Positive youth voice experiences
  • A more inclusive community
  • Improved empolyability

For information about being a mentor please download the Buddy Up Mentor Information Leaflet

If you have a learning disability and you are interested in taking part please download the Buddy Up Mentee Information Leaflet