Community

Are you keen to make a difference to the life of a young local person?

24 February 2021

Sometimes, young people need an extra adult (or two!) in their lives. Presbyterian Support Otago’s Family Works Buddy Programme is all about boosting a child’s life with friendship, fun, encouragement and positive attitudes.

By spending a couple of hours a week with a young person, an Adult Buddy can make a big difference in a child’s life. Some of the activities enjoyed in Wanaka and Hawea by Buddies are: biking, swimming, sports, walks, baking, craft, music, construction and other shared interests.

It is not only Young Buddies who benefit, Adult Buddies also find the programme enjoyable.

Andy Woods and Mylrea Bell are based in Wanaka and joined the programme together in 2017 when they were matched with a 9 year old Young Buddy. Mylrea said “Andy, my partner and I became involved as we could see the benefits - new experiences and opportunities for all parties.”

For their Little Buddy, “it was an opportunity for one-on-one special time, for them to see how other families live, to meet new people, and to view life from another perspective.”

“For us, it kept us in touch with youth, gave us an opportunity to get our kids’ toys out again, gave extra motivation to get out and about, and enabled us to connect with a local family. And laughter was a significant part of the whole experience.”

“The training, support and assistance offered by our local coordinator, Sharon Bell was always very compassionate, encouraging and professional.”

The Buddy Programme is keen to hear from more potential Adult Buddies as there are Young Buddies waiting for a match. The programme also welcomes referrals of new Young Buddies aged 5 to 11, who could benefit from sharing time with an Adult Buddy.

For more information, please contact Sharon on 021 2232 265 or buddywanaka@psotago.org.nz