We aimed to involve around 20 people as buddies to participants in our Take Part Learning Programmes.
We looked for buddies in the public and voluntary sectors who could offer one or more of the following:

  • be a source of guidance, insight and inspiration; a sounding board; a source of experience and examples; a resource for information and contacts
  • help Take Part participants to increase understanding, trust and confidence in public services and local democracy
  • help Take Part participants to realise how their learning is practiced in the workplace and the places where decisions are made
  • offer Take Part participants an insight into completely new areas of work
  • offer specific expertise, for example: public speaking, minute taking or report writing

14 potential buddies attended a workshop in January 2010 (notes below), with a further 9 unable to attend but still interested. The objectives of the workshop were:

  • for buddies to gain clarity about Take Part and the buddy process
  • for the Take Part Pathfinder Delivery Group to gain clarity about what buddies can offer
  • for all parties to understand how the buddy process might work in reality

Following this event a buddy pack and participant pack were developed. 18 buddies were recruited to a pool. A speed networking style event was planned to aid the matching of buddies to learners, however it proved difficult to find a time and day which suited a large enough number of people. Instead members of the Delivery Group visited learning programme sessions to talk about the buddying programme, share the offers of available buddies and invite applications to the scheme.

In August 2010 we successfully matched 8 buddies with 8 learners, and by January 2010 we had matched a further 8 pairings.

The following are resources and examples from our work developing a buddying scheme.

Buddy Session Notes Jan 2010.pdf

Buddy Pack (for potential buddies)

Buddy leaflet for participants.pdf

Examples of what buddies offered

Examples of what some participants wanted from the buddying programme, or thier buddies.

If you would like to know more about the buddying scheme please contact: 

Sam Axtell, Consultation and Community Involvement Officer, Wolverhampton City Council
Tel No: 01902 554918/551885, email: sam.axtell@wolverhampton.gov.uk