I have been working for Local Aid Buddies project for two years. Prior to this, I had been a volunteer for around 6 months. This helped me gain a well-rounded understanding of what the role would involve, and how to best support the children, on this 1:1 basis. This experience nurtured my knowledge about behavioural challenges , which I was able to relate to my Undergraduate and Master’s Degree, whilst also helping to further develop my communication and interpersonal skills.
The great thing about Buddies, is the varied experience it offers, through the wide range of conditions present. This enabled me to develop knowledge about, and experience supporting, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s syndrome, ADHD and Global Development Delay, which will benefit me invaluably, as I work towards my career as an Educational Psychologist. Another valuable feature of Buddies is the friendly and supportive environment, created by the other members of staff, which encourages the children to feel safe, relaxed and happy. Further, this positive atmosphere makes me feel supported, whilst working on an individual basis with a child. The individual targets each child is set, and is supported to achieve through the sessions, encourage a holistic approach, in which the child is seen as a capable individual, and each child’s own strengths are highlighted rather than being compared to the abilities of the other children.
Working on a 1:1 basis with a variety of children, enables to gain experience working with a wide range of children, whilst also encouraging a professional relationship between the Activity Leader and the children. This encourages the children to listen and trust others. This role continues to be a rewarding experience, and I would recommend this role to anyone looking to support children in a positive, rewarding environment.
This is a partnership project between registered charity Local Aid and Swansea the City & County of Swansea.
Young people are supported on a minimum one to one basis. Activities are highly focused on individuals needs encouraging social and life skills whilst enabling young people to have fun.
Young people who have severe learning difficulties / challenging behaviour are encouraged to participate with their peers.
They share their understanding of their brother/sister needs as well as making new friends and experiencing mutual support.
Supporting young people aged 15-18. A mentoring scheme operates. Young volunteers are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the project, including planning and delivery of activities in order to develop their own personal experiences.
The Big Lottery, BBC Children in Need, Cymorth Fund, City County of Swansea Child & Family Services, local businesses including Lloyds TSB.