Buddies Day VIDEO
What are Buddies Day
Buddies Days are about providing a fun day out for the children in our programs, helping them develop their confidence and emotional intelligence, providing respite for parents and caregivers, and developing positive, reliable, supportive role model relationships with the children.
The program provides opportunities for self-development for both children and volunteers. In addition, many of the families who access the Buddies Day Program appreciate the opportunity for the respite.
Whilst this program has fundamental priorities across the state, every program is unique due to the needs that the local community presents.
For example; A community that is predominately low socio-economic would have differing needs that a community with a high refugee population.
Many of the children come from family situations of single parent, or high needs, and so while the children have a break this in turn also gives the parents a much needed break.
Who are Buddies Day's for?
Children aged 8-12 years who are involved in our Buddies Day program come from a variety of backgrounds, and have been identifies as in need of additional support and would benefit from community development.
Our Buddies Day children are typically referred on by members of the local conference. The Buddies Day program also receives referrals from other departments within the St Vincent de Paul Society, external agencies and through direct contact from families seeking support.
Your job as a volunteer
As a Buddies Day volunteer/member, your job is to ensure that all children are safe and having a good time. You will need to keep a keen eye on the group dynamics and pre-empt any possible behaviour management issues that may occur.
Your role is really important on the day which include:
- Ensure all children feel welcomed and safe
- Welcome new leaders and make them feel comfortable
- Be with the children and having fun with them
- Engaging with all activities to the best of your ability
Before volunteering on Buddies Day, I thought I wasn’t great getting along with kids, but I got involved because I wanted to empower these kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and my friends told me it was fun.
Here I am 5 years later, still doing on Buddies day a month! It’s awesome to see the kids grow and develop and what a consistent positive effect it makes. And I have noticed I have much more patience, tolerance, creatively, empathy, as well as improved communication skills; all of which have also had a benefit in my professional life and personal life.
In my experience with the Buddies Day Program, light and life is abundant. It is always heart warming to know that, through volunteers and people like you and I, children and teenagers can be inspired to have fun, be strong and live joyfully.
The values that they receive go such a long way in their lives, and they become more and more amazing with everything they learn and do. Every time I see a buddy that I remember from a previous day they are always excited and happy for you to help them. That’s the best thing for me to see, young people lit you with bright eyes and bright hearts.