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Find friends with the UPSU Buddy Scheme

Written by: UPSU

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Whether you’re in your first, second, third or fourth year at the University of Plymouth, whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate, you’ve previously studied at a partner college, or you want to meet new people and find some support from your peer group – the UPSU Buddy Scheme is for you!

Launched in 2020 to help students build connections and meet new people throughout lockdown, the UPSU Buddy Scheme is made up entirely of students. Students can volunteer to become Buddies and students looking for support can sign up to become Participants.

The purpose of the UPSU Buddy Scheme is to:  

  • Support students transitioning to University combat loneliness 
  • Provide a source of peer support to those who require it 
  • Support wellbeing in the student community  

If you’re interested in joining the scheme then check out the links below to sign up as either a Buddy or a Participant. We’ll then match the Buddies with Participants to provide peer to peer support. 

“[The] Buddy Scheme is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone. Boosts your communication confidence and you get great support from your buddy as the scheme tries to select a buddy for you that would have most in common with you which means you may not only find a great friend but also get support with your studies or current hobby. You will never feel alone and scared if you are new to town and University.'' - Erika Zukova


Sign up to be a buddy!


If you're a current student at the University of Plymouth and you feel that you could offer support to other students then this is your opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of others. We welcome applications from across the University student community, no previous experience required.

We'll support you throughout your time as a Volunteer Buddy and you will receive training to ensure you understand the role, confidentiality, data protection, signposting and personal safety. If you have any questions or you just want to find out more about the role, check out the links and questions below or get in touch with us at

Sign up as a volunteering buddy here



Sign up to get a buddy!

“I haven't regretted a minute that I've joined this scheme! Firstly due to the amazing friendship that I've acquired and secondly due to the benefits of having a buddy in town with whom we could both work on projects and ideas and have fun! I definitely recommend joining this scheme and I would urge students to use this opportunity to connect with those you would not have reached otherwise. Whether you are shy or an outgoing person, this scheme benefits both your soft skills and hard skills (if you're on the same degree as your buddy). Don't hesitate anymore and take this chance to make new friends!” - Jose Ferreira


Settling into University can be daunting at the best of times but in the current climate, coming out of lockdown and moving towards a sense of normality, we know that many of us have found this harder than usual. Things like knowing where you can meet new people or how you can get advice from returning students who've done it all are things we’ve previously taken for granted, but the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone.

If you’re looking for someone to meet for a coffee, to try a new sporting or cultural activity with or just to have a chat with (in person or virtually), then sign up as a participant in the UPSU Buddy Scheme. 

The Buddy Scheme is designed to be very informal – it’s just a chance to meet someone new, boost your wellbeing and combat loneliness through the support offered by a student just like you. 


Sign up to find a buddy here



Introducing Freshers Welcome Buddies!


Can you remember what your first week at University was like? These first few weeks can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking for many. We are looking for confident, friendly students to participate in this year's Welcome Buddy Scheme.

These volunteers will be available during Freshers to support any students on campus, helping them settle into university life. We hope these volunteers will be a friendly face on campus or walk around various events with those who need it – you may even be the first person they speak to.

There is the potential for volunteers to lead walks around the Barbican and the Hoe to help new students see more of the city. Our main goal is to make students feel more comfortable on campus and make that transition more fun.

Times and days are flexible, it’s a voluntary role, but you will receive a wristband which gives you access to all Freshers’ events in the SU. If you have free time between the 18th and 29th of September, please sign up here: Welcome Buddy Sign Up

If you have any questions, please get in touch on: