He’s now more outgoing, more outspoken, more relaxed around people. He’s become less subdued and more confident within himself. Volunteering means he can build relationships – build community relationships.
Buddying is a skilled and challenging role where the support worker assists the volunteer but doesn’t do the task for them or take over. It’s important that the volunteer gets to choose the volunteer role and takes ownership of the activity.
My advice to other support workers is to remember that it’s not you and me – it’s together.
Treat the person with respect the same as you would treat anyone else – your friends, your family or whatever. Me and Steven we always discuss things, no matter what it is. We don’t develop things just for the sake of it.
If you don’t respect that, he’ll only say “Why am I here? I don’t want to do that”. Then everything goes out of the window.
A good buddying relationship needs continuity and stability. If that’s not there and you have workers that are coming and going all the time you’re not going to understand each other’s personalities – you need to work off each other.