Frequently Asked Questions

On joining the project all new volunteers are given a full induction into their role within the project as well as our policies & procedures that volunteers need to be aware off. In summary here are a few frequently asked questions by new volunteers:

1. Trial Period:
After being matched with your partner you are on probation as buddies for approx 6 months. This is to ensure the match is well monitored to establish how things are working, whether the match is suitable & going well. Support and advice is provided. This arrangement also makes it easier to finish a match that is not working, for whatever reason, and allow either party to look for another partner or withdraw from the project.

During the trial time the volunteer buddy is required to: - Meet their buddy at least once a month. - Support is provided initially by the coordinator - Decide with their buddy what they are doing - Discuss plans with parents/guardians and obtain their permission. - Inform the coordinator of where you are going and what you will be doing. - Report back to the co-ordinators about the meeting/activity to discuss what you did and how it went.

2. Transport supports:
Volunteers who have a full, clean drivers licence may use their private cars during the course of the voluntary work, e.g. to collect their friend who may not have access to any other form of private or public transport, going for a drive or leaving someone home. It’s important to remember that it is the volunteer’s own motor insurance policy, which provides cover in this instance. The use of your car for this purpose should be covered by the existing social and domestic clause of your motor insurance policy.

3. Insurance:
Car insurance: when taking your buddy in your car or anyone’s car, the driver must have a full licence & properly insured. If you choose to carry your Leisure Buddy in your car you will do so on your own insurance & not that of St. Christopher’s.

In regards activities, it is your responsibility as a volunteer to ensure that when you are organising an activity that the company you use are insured. If you or your buddy have an incident when out as Leisure Buddies the responsibility will be on the negligible party/company.

4. Emergencies:
In case of an emergency, don’t panic. Contact emergency services& please contact the coordinator, families etc. there are also individualised emergency plans for some buddies which you must adhere to in an emergency. The coordinator will inform you of these.

5. Expenses:
The Volunteer & Buddy cover their own expenses & pay for their own activities, food etc. You may need to support you buddy to use their money to pay for things & ensure they get the correct change. Buddies are entitled to have travel passes which allows them to get free travel & in most cases they can bring a companion for free also.

6. Health & Safety:
As a volunteer it is your responsibility to ensure the safety & wellbeing of your buddy & that the activities you chose to take part in are safe and properly insured. The coordinator will support you if you have any concerns or issues.

7. Confidentiality:
The Leisure buddies Project have a strict policy on ensuring confidentiality to all our volunteers & buddies. Any information shared about your buddy or any member of the project is to be treated in a confidential manner.

8. Supports available:
Supports are widely available to the volunteer & their buddy by the coordinator, their family members, other staff as well as other matched buddies. The coordinator will support the match initially until they get to know each other & establish links with family members & perhaps staff. The coordinator will also provide support to the matched buddies to organise activities, for example; booking tickets, information on what is coming up locally or transport to an activity. The coordinator is also available for support if the volunteer is experiencing any difficulties in their role as a buddy.

9. Commitment & leaving the programme:
All new volunteer applicants are asked to carefully consider their availability to commit to the programme for at least the next 12 months. A volunteer commits to meeting their buddy at least once a month, the volunteer contacts the coordinator to record that they have been in contact with their buddy. This is important as it provides stability to the person you are supporting.

10. Organising Activities:
The matched buddies decide themselves on when suits to meet up & what they wish to do based on their interests. The volunteer contacts the buddy & informs them & their family of the arrangements. The volunteer also let the coordinator know for health & safety reasons as well as record keeping. The coordinator will also provide support to the matched buddies to organise activities, for example; booking tickets, information on what is coming up locally or transport to an activity.

11. Have fun:
Last but not least, your time with us should be fun. We hope that volunteers enjoy their experience as being part of the project & that they feel appreciated as a valued member of the programme.
Get In Touch!
If you have any enquiries regarding Leisure Buddies please feel free to contact us. Please fill in the required fields *