Scarborough Survivors is a user-led charity, this means that all our clients have a voice and we are always ready to listen. Through our feedback forms and comment books we can see the positive effects of our service. We want our clients to have an input in the groups and activities that they would like to attend, creating this autonomy allows the clients to feel connected and in control of the support they are receiving. Our cafe area offers a more relaxed ‘drop in’ style service where members can come for a cuppa, a chat and just sit among friends in a safe place relieving the symptoms of isolation and loneliness. The results of a recent client survey showed a 48% increase in well-being after regularly attending our Resource Centre.
We are now planning to extend our support services externally of our Resource Centre. To reach those who are unable to reach us.
Recovering from a period of poor mental health and the isolation/disconnection it causes is a long journey and the length of that path is different for everyone. Being able to offer a service where the Positive Buddy goes out to the client and helps them in their own environment on a regular basis will have a reassuring impact on that person’s life. The amount raised through the Aviva Community Fund will allow us to train, DBS check and sustain the Positive Buddies out in the field.
Positive Buddies will support their client's in the following ways;
- Being a listening ear
- Reducing isolation
- Practice techniques to help manage and improve mental well-being
- Reconnect them with their local community
- Increase confidence and self-esteem
- Work to reduce the stigma around mental health
- Advocate when required for their client
- They will encourage empowerment and autonomy at all times
A Positive Buddy is not a family member, friend or co-worker. A Positive Buddy will not make a judgement, try and ‘solve’ the problem or expect anything in return. They will just be there, within the boundaries of their contract, with the client, providing the support they need to help them through this period in their lives.
We will measure outcomes and look after our connections with regular feedback and supervision. When the client is ready the Positive Buddy will introduce them to our Resource Centre where all our services will be available for them. If the client is able to get to this stage, then we will know that progress has been made.
Positive Buddies will be provided with full training in Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Awareness and Safeguarding. The scheme will be governed under the same policies and procedures as the Resource Centre and Crisis Cafe, including supervision and professional boundaries adherence, along with DBS checks and references. All clients will be asked to sign a contract so there is no ambiguity as to what the Positive Buddy can assist them with, what they can or cannot do and when they are available to contact. We would require the Buddies to give 2 hours of their time per week for each of their clients.
If you are looking for a volunteering opportunity in the Scarborough or Whitby area or if you know someone who you feel would benefit from the help of a Positive Buddy please get in touch with us. Thank you for your support, Scarborough Survivors.