Buddy Programme

The programme contributes to the emotional and social wellbeing of children by matching them with carefully selected and trained adult volunteers in a well-supported mentoring relationship.

The Aims

  • increase children's self esteem
  • develop social skills and help children make positive choices
  • opportunities for new social experiences and different activities
  • friendship, support, guidance and encouragement
  • fun and happiness

Big Buddies Are

  • adults who are there to listen, support and encourage their Little Buddy
  • people to hang out and have fun with once a week for 2-3 hours
  • adults aged 18 years and over
  • women and men from varied backgrounds and life experiences
  • adult role models who can provide a healthy adult/child relationship

Little Buddies Are

  • children aged between four and 12 years
  • children whose life circumstances indicate the need for additional adult support
  • children who need extra help coping with or fitting into their home, school or community
  • referred from a variety of sources, such as social workers, public health nurses, teachers, psychologists, and by their own family

Buddy Training

  • prospective Big Buddies attend an initial training course covering communication skills, how to build a friendship with a child, and family dynamics
  • acceptance into the Buddy Programme at the end of the training depends on the outcome of a police check, references, a home visit and an interview
  • once approved, Big Buddies will be matched with a Little Buddy
  • on-going training and supervision are provided

The Buddy Programme runs in three locations across Southland. These include, Invercargill, Whakatipu and Gore.

Read more about the Big Buddy experience here

"My child’s confidence has increased dramatically since being involved in the Buddy Programme."