Sidekick project goes live in East Devon

PUBLISHED: 16:04 18 June 2009 | UPDATED: 23:43 15 June 2010

Sidekick, an exciting new volunteering project in East Devon, is open for business. Sidekick, which is funded by the Big Lottery, helps people who lack confidence to get involved in volunteering by providing them with additional support.

Sidekick, an exciting new volunteering project in East Devon, is open for business.

Sidekick, which is funded by the Big Lottery, helps people who lack confidence to get involved in volunteering by providing them with additional support.

Sidekick links volunteers up with a Buddy - a skilled volunteer who is able to help them to build their confidence and make the most of their volunteering experience. Buddies attend a comprehensive training programme to prepare them for their role and they receive regular supervision, as well as having their expenses reimbursed. They are people who are interested in supporting others to improve their skills and well being. Buddies usually volunteer once a week for two to four hours.

"Volunteering is a fantastic way to develop new skills, become involved in a range of interesting and stimulating activities, get involved with the local community and feel that you are actively contributing to the world around you," says Jacky Cox, Sidekick Project Coordinator.

"For some people, taking that first step into becoming a volunteer can be a daunting and nerve-wracking process, particularly if they have been isolated for some time, experience mental or physical health issues, have a learning difficulty or feel they have few skills to offer. However, the rewards for those who do volunteer can be immense. We now have a great team of Buddies to support people to volunteer - and would welcome others to join us."

Currently, there are six trained Sidekick Buddies offering support to volunteers in placements which include charity shops and an allotment project. Attendance at the training programme, and the experience they gain in Buddying, can provide Volunteer Buddies with useful skills which can broaden their own horizons and even lead to employment.

If you are interested in becoming a Buddy, receiving the support of a Buddy, or if you would like to offer a volunteering placement to a Sidekick volunteer, please contact Jacky Cox on (01404) 549045.

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