On International Women’s Day let’s celebrate the women of Kingston

                             Two women at Brighton peer

International Women’s Day, taking place today, is a reminder and opportunity to celebrate the role of women worldwide, including all those who are working to support and help each other such as Emma and Becky in Kingston.  

Since 2014, Emma and Becky have been taking part in the Buddy Scheme, a befriending scheme in Kingston that enables adults with a learning disability to enjoy the leisure activities they love with a volunteer buddy.

Emma has a learning disability and didn’t have a large group of friends so her social life was very restricted, the buddy scheme helped her to increase her confidence and make a new ‘buddy’. She was matched with volunteer Becky as they enjoyed similar activities such as going to the cinema and shopping.

Since 2014 they have met regularly going on lunches out, taken a boat trip down the river, attended Jazz Dance and Pilates classes, had manicures, done lots of shopping and enjoyed a day trip to Brighton with other buddy pairs on the scheme.

Emma said:

“The Buddy Scheme has helped me to be more independent and has made me more confident to speak to people in the community.  I’ve got to know Becky and I enjoy the things we do together. The Buddy Scheme has widened my social activities.”

For Becky, the scheme has also had a big impact and helped her towards her career goals, she said:

“The Buddy Scheme has been a great, fun experience. It has also helped me with a career change, I have wanted to train to be an occupational therapist for a few years now, and I firmly believe that being able to speak about my experiences with The Buddy Scheme in my university interview made me stand out from other applicants, and I am now mid-way through my first year studying.”

Becky is leaving the scheme to pursue her studies full time and Emma has now been matched with a new buddy volunteer.

The Buddy Scheme always has a waiting list for people who would like a volunteer buddy so if you feel you would be interested in this role, or have any questions, please contact: 0208 255 8068 or email buddyscheme@gokingstonvolunteering.org.uk

For general enquiries about volunteering please contact Go Kingston Volunteering on 0208 255 8685


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