We know that the last few months have been tough for a lot of us and many students may feel as though they’re missing a human connection. Whether you’ve just started at the University of Plymouth, you’ve previously studied at a partner college or you’re just looking for support from someone from your peer group – the new UPSU Buddy Scheme is for you.
The UPSU Buddy Scheme aims 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
The UPSU Buddy Scheme will be entirely made up of students. Students can volunteer to become Buddies and students looking for support can sign up to become participants. Volunteer Buddies will then be matched with individual participants to provide peer to peer support. We’ll be sharing information on how to sign up to become a participant and be paired with a Buddy next week.
In order to get the UPSU Buddy Scheme up and running, we need Buddies.
If you’re a current returning 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’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 our Volunteering Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The closing date for applications is Wednesday 4th November.
Who can volunteer to be a Buddy??
Any returning University of Plymouth student can make an application to be a buddy. The scheme welcomes applications from across the University student community, no previous experience required.
What does being a Volunteer Buddy involve?
The volunteer buddy role is very informal and will to a great extent depend on the student/s you are buddied with. The time commitment each week would be variable and would depend on the number of buddies you take on and the support they need. It could involve simply meeting for coffee, taking part together in a sporting or cultural activity or virtual meet-ups via Zoom or Teams.
The role does not replace existing UPSU or University services, as a Buddy you will be equipped to signpost your buddy to appropriate on-campus services. If you have any concerns, please talk to a member of the UPSU Volunteer Team.
What training does a volunteer buddy receive?
Before being paired all Volunteer Buddies will be trained in the following areas.
- Data Protection
- Communicating and connecting with your buddy
- Signposting – overview of UPSU and University Services
- Personal safety
How do I sign up?
Please click on the 'Register your interest' button below, this will take you through to more information about the opportunity (you'll need to be logged in to access it). If this sounds like the right opportunity for you then click 'Register your interest' and the Volunteering team will get in touch with you.
If you can't see the 'Register your interest button' please ensure you are registered as a volunteer. You can check by navigating to your volunteer profile via the person icon in the top right-hand corner. If you are not registered it will take you through the short process after which you should be able to see the button.
What happens if I no longer want to be part of the scheme?
As a volunteer buddy we would ask for a commitment of an academic year of volunteering but understand that situations change and would ask you let the Volunteering Team know your decision.