Buddy Programme

The programme relies on adult volunteers prepared to spend a couple of hours a week with a child sharing interests, listening, providing support and having fun.

Our Family Works service operates the programme, selecting volunteers and providing them with training and ongoing support. 

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 between four and 12 years of age
  • 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: Invercargill, Wakatipu and Gore.