Chestnut Tree is making an urgent appeal for more 18 to 30-year-olds to become a ‘buddy’ to help young people with life-limiting conditions.
The buddy scheme gives each of the young people cared for by the charity an opportunity to get involved with a buddy.
This is a volunteer of around their own age, with whom they can make a connection and enjoy different activities, either within the monthly youth group and community visits, or as part of their activity days which are held during the school holidays.
All buddies are supported by the hospice’s buddy co-ordinator and the overall aim of the scheme is to raise the confidence of the young person cared for by the charity, to help them experience new things and to give them opportunities to meet up with their peers.
Ricky Timms, 30, currently a full time student at university, has been a buddy volunteer for a year.
He said, “I was a bit nervous about becoming a buddy as I was unsure how I would react in what can be an emotionally challenging environment.
“However, from the very first time I helped out I fell in love with being a buddy, and the relationship I have with the children is something very special to be able to experience.
“Having seen first-hand the amount of effort parents put in to looking after their children, it is means everything that I can give them a break whilst interacting with the children in fun and creative environments, I can’t think of a single thing that can be more fulfilling than that, and it is the best thing I’ve ever done.”
“The thing I enjoy most about volunteering is spending time with the kids; it allows me to be a big kid as well. Whenever I feel worried about my coursework or exams, I think about the children and families cared for by the hospice, and it puts everything into perspective.”
To find out more about becoming a buddy, call 01323 725095 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about Chestnut Tree visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/handsup.
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