President of the Don’t DisAbility society and founder of the scheme, Mackinlay Ingham, said: “Due to physical, social or learning differences, barriers are created that stop students engaging in social activities or even going to lectures because of the lack of support in-between breaks.
“This cannot only have a devastating effect on a student’s self confidence and self esteem but also their health and academic success. It has been apparent to me ever since I joined university as someone with a physical disability and mental health issues that there is a need for this peer-to-peer support.
“The buddy scheme will offer the sort of support that can often be overlooked, the small things that make a huge difference. Such as helping students with shopping, accompanying them to social events or simply grabbing a coffee.”
Any and every student can become a buddy and could benefit from interacting and receiving compassion from fellow students. Volunteering will not only boost your CV but it can be very rewarding. You’ll have positive effects on someone’s life just by giving them five minutes of your time.
Jack Price, student at Falmouth University, said: “I think that the buddy system is a great idea, it unifies people in a beautiful way and as a university it strengthens the bonds between people. I don’t think it’d be something that I personally would benefit from, but despite this I could help someone else benefit from it. I feel like I would happily be someone’s ‘buddy’ for any amount of time, and help someone in any way possible.”
For many students the buddy scheme will make everyday tasks a little easier and less stressful, whilst also providing great social support.
LucyJane Scott, a university student at Falmouth University suffers from a physical disability, she said: “I think the buddy system is a great idea. I know that I find it difficult to do my shopping and attending bars and gigs when they’re crowded. I’m lucky that I find it relatively easy to ask a friend for help but I know that not everyone does or have the opportunity.
So I’d be more than happy to help someone who is anxious about a social event and just wants a friend out there. I’m sure there will be a time when my friends are busy and I’ll need some help, I’m sure that’s when the system will come in handy for me.”
Message the Facebook page to become or a buddy or receive support: https://www.facebook.com/ddabuddyscheme/?fref=ts