As they say, the proof is in the pudding, and that’s certainly the case in the Buddy Programme evaluation report released prior to Christmas.
Presbyterian Support Otago Chief Executive Gillian Bremner says individual interviews built into the evaluation process demonstrate the positive impact Adult Buddies have on the children they mentor.
“”Giving young people the opportunity to spend time with an adult outside of their family, someone who has positive regard for them and shows interest in their lives, helps build confidence and presents new experiences.
“I was absolutely delighted to read the evaluation and see just what a huge difference the Buddy Programme makes on everyone involved ,” Gillian says.
Here are some Young Buddy quotes from the research:
“I imagined it being similar to doing things with my dad, which is usually quite anxious, [but] it was quite different. It wasn’t a stressful environment. It was very welcoming.”
“You would forget about the bad things.”
“I wasn’t so angry. I was able to be happy rather than down in the dumps.”
“[I] feel quite grateful to have had him in my life, even if it was such a short time. I don’t think I would’ve been exactly the same if I hadn’t known him.”
“Good memories made amongst a not so nice upbringing.”
And for Adult Buddies too, the partnerships were rewarding:
“You can make such a difference to a wee life and get such warm feelings yourself as well.”
“”It’s nice to feel you’ve made a direct impact on someone.”
“”They made up for my grandchildren who weren’t around.”
“It exposes the young buddies to another life; [gives] confidence in practical skills and believing in themselves.”