ALLIANCE Funding for Wrap Around Buddying Project
Sarah Cleary, the Health and Employability Service Manager at Volunteer Edinburgh was at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday night for the National Self Management Awards and ministerial announcement by Jackie Baillie (MSP) and Jeanne Freeman (MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport) about funding for new projects of which our Health and Wellbeing “Wrap Around Buddying Project” is one.
“The money will enable the Health and Wellbeing Team to recruit and train volunteer buddies to work alongside us in better supporting volunteers with additional support needs as they settle into their volunteering. Enabling us to offer greater wrap around support for the volunteer and organisation. Our intention is to recruit volunteers who have themselves used volunteering as a way of improving the health and wellbeing and are willing to share their experiences with those just starting out on that journey.”
The Wrap Around Buddying Project
The project will:
- Secure and sustain positive life changing volunteering for more people with long term health conditions.
- Use volunteering to teach more people with long term health conditions how to better self-manage.
Our experience has enabled us to identify the key stages of the volunteering journey, when people need more support. Providing additional support at these times using Buddies, will improve the volunteering experience and the opportunity for individuals to develop their self-management
“A buddy would be there to offer additional support and improve engagement. We had a guy come along to join us. If only he had had someone to chum him. He was very nervous but that extra bit of help for the first couple of weeks would have been phenomenal. Having someone there to chat to and reflect would have helped him get so much more out of the experience and develop as a person. You can’t put a value on being able to chat and throw ideas around.”
One volunteer described it as walking through the “Seasons of their Life” with them: “A way that people can access timely and appropriate information and support, so they can make well informed decisions about their volunteering and self-management”
“So many forms to fill in. Not everyone is psychologically ready. There were so many hoops to jump through. It was all very intimidating. And it can all take so long and that’s before you even start to worry about what to wear and where to put your coat when you get there!”