Kathryn Smith Buddy Scheme Coordinator

Hello I’m Kathryn Smith, the new Co-ordinator of the Buddy Scheme at Go Kingston Volunteering. This is the scheme that uses volunteers to help people with learning disabilities take part in leisure activities.

I’ve been in post since the end of July and have been making contact with volunteers, service users and referrers. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of expanding the scheme and bringing new service users and volunteers together.

I’ve been catching up with current volunteers and hearing about their regular activities such as trips to museums, visits to Richmond Park, shopping and cinema outings plus the more energetic cycling in Bushy Park and zumba classes!

There are so many opportunities for leisure activities in Kingston and so much enthusiasm for volunteering at the moment that this feels like an exciting time to be involved with such a scheme. I also work on a national helpline and my background is in working with volunteers. My last post was co-ordinating a volunteer service at a hospital, where volunteers provided leisure activities for patients with complex neurological disabilities. As I’ve always worked with volunteers I’m keen to volunteer for other organisations and have been volunteering in the advice & information team at Age UK. I have also volunteered on helplines and befriending schemes and was very fortunate to be involved as a volunteer interviewer with the 2012 Olympic Games. It was really inspiring to meet new volunteers every week for 12 months and then watch the extraordinary achievements of the 70,000 Games Makers as the Olympics unfolded.

If anyone would like more information about the Buddy Scheme please get in touhc on 0208 8255 8068 or e-mail mailto:buddyscheme@gokingstonvolunteering.org.uk