Buddy scheme wins recognition

Approved Provider status for Sidekick.

A BUDDYING project, which supports vulnerable adults, has received Approved Provider status from the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.

Sidekick, which is active in Honiton, has been recognised for its good practice in supporting people to get involved in volunteering.

“It is great to receive this award and the recognition that we are providing an effective and safe service to the people we support,” said Jacky Cox, the project’s co-ordinator.

“Huge credit is due to our team of committed volunteer buddies, who devote their own time, patience and skill to helping others become successful volunteers.”

Sidekick, which is based in Ottery St Mary and covers the whole of East Devon, provides support to people who have mental health issues or are socially isolated and who would like to get involved in volunteering.

Buddies volunteer alongside the person needing support, helping them to build their confidence to the point that they can volunteer independently.

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Very often the people Sidkick supports learn a range of new skills and are able to move on to become involved in other volunteering opportunities, or into paid employment.

Buddies can also learn new skills, which can help them find employment, but they also gain satisfaction by helping another individual to progress. They learn more about issues relating to mental health and learning disabilities; they attend training and receive on-going supervision and support.

Jacky added: “We are currently looking for new buddies to join our successful team.

“If you are confident and caring with good communication skills and a great sense of humour, why not find out more about volunteering with Sidekick?”

To find out more, call (01404) 549045.