When Graeme Hunt first heard about the Family Works Buddy programme, the seed was planted and while it took a few years for Graeme to act on it, he now gets a lot out of being an adult Buddy to Lucas*.
Having raised two children with his wife Lindy, Graeme was ready to do something different and volunteering as an adult Buddy was perfect!
“When I got in touch with Buddy Coordinators, Steph and Sam, they were delighted to welcome me to the programme.”
Graeme was inducted to the programme, received training and continues to be supported by the coordinators. At the end of his initial training, Graeme was matched with 11-year-old Lucas.
Graeme likes to be active so the duo have enjoyed many activities, including playing basketball at the Edgar Centre, fishing, and 10-pin bowling (to name a few).
“We played 10-pin bowling recently and Lucas beat me – he was delighted!”
Not only did they have a competitive game, they were given the opportunity to have a look ‘behind the scenes’ of the bowling alley.
“It was fascinating to see how all the mechanisms work, and how the skittles are lifted and then placed back in the correct formation. We saw old photos of what the alley used to look like and it’s a lot different now.”
Having one-on-one time together, the duo have got to know each other well and the relationship has gone from strength to strength.
What would Graeme say to someone thinking of becoming an adult Buddy? “Definitely give it a go, it’s really rewarding.”
Regular meetings with the Buddy Coordinators and other adult Buddies is a good way to get on-going support and to hear what others are doing.
“You can get some good ideas and it’s nice to meet fellow Buddies and share experiences.”
*Lucas’ real name has been changed to protect his privacy
We need more adult buddies!
The Buddy Programme is offered throughout Otago. Currently we have 107 matched young Buddies, and 112 young Buddies waiting on an adult Buddy match. If you are interested in finding out more about being an adult Buddy please call us on 0508 396 678 or visit our Buddy Programme page.
Our amazing Buddy Programme Coordinators from around Otago!
Our local coordinators match each child with their adult Buddy, so they have similar interests and hobbies, as well as providing training and support.
The Buddy Programme contributes to the emotional and social wellbeing of children through a well supported mentoring relationship.
The Buddy Programme is 100% funded through donations and grants. If you would like to support this programme, please use our online donation form.