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.
- 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
- 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.