London Community Buddying

Become a friend

Sense Buddying gives disabled children and young people with complex needs the opportunity to get involved with activities in the local community, make the most of their free time and make friends. Our current opportunities are based in the London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Redbridge.

Build a unique connection

Volunteer as a Sense Buddy and you’ll be matched with one young person, so you can concentrate on building a friendship that is truly special. You could be swimming, bowling, sensory storytelling or visiting museums and parks.  Whatever activities you choose together, you will make a big difference in their life.

The disabled young people who take part in Sense Buddying often have few opportunities to make friends and access activities outside of home and school. Their buddying sessions give them the chance to develop their independence, boost their confidence, discover new passions and  most importantly  have fun!

Could you be a Sense Buddy?

You may be new to supporting disabled young people, or looking to use your existing skills (in health and social care, Special Educational Needs, or speech and language therapy) in a new context. Either way, if you’re enthusiastic, person-centred and excited to get out and about and build a one-to-one supportive friendship, Sense Buddying is a volunteering opportunity for you.

London boroughs 

We’re currently recruiting volunteers for our weekend activities based in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Redbridge. We work with young people with a range of needs, including sensory impairments, complex medical conditions, autism and learning disabilities. We ask volunteers to commit to three hours a week, usually during the weekend, for a minimum of six months.

Join the team and you’ll get involved in loads of exciting activities in your community – and support a young disabled person to do the same. As well as your individual sessions, you’ll take part in regular group events, so that you and your buddy can connect with other young people and volunteers. Past activities have included accessible football, ice-skating and a Halloween sensory rave!

Safety measures during COVID 19

We are continuing to support children and young people in the community - who need their buddying sessions now more than ever. We are following the guidance of the National Youth Agency closely. We have implemented strict safety measures to reduce the risk for all involved in our projects. For more information please get in touch. 

Getting started

Before you volunteer, we'll make sure that you have all of the information and support you need to feel prepared and confident in your role, starting with an informal interview. We spend time getting to know you and then carefully match you to a child or young person.

We offer full training before you start. Initial sessions are supported by an experienced member of the team and we provide regular support and supervision throughout your time with us. We provide a budget for travel and activity expenses and also offer a range of additional training opportunities.

We're looking for new Sense Buddies right now, so please get in touch!

Read about the impact Volunteering on the Buddying Programme can have here