A UNIQUE scheme, which has helped young people with disabilities in the town to step out of their comfort zone to build confidence and self-esteem, continues to go from strength to strength.
The programme, which is run by Warrington Youth Club and was launched in August 2011, offers young people with disabilities the chance to try new activities with the help of a buddy for support.
Buddy Up co-ordinator Nuvvy Sibia said: “Buddy Up can really make a genuine, tangible difference to the young people it supports.
“All of our Buddies are volunteers, and not only do the they give up considerable time, but equally share the same philosophy, in that they really want to make a difference to the lives of the young people whom they support.
“Each year we aim to work with at least 40 children and young people, although naturally we would like to support a greater number of children and indeed their families.
“There is no better feeling than seeing a relationship come alive, and to see a young person develop and flourish and knowing that was only possible through the support, guidance and selfless commitment of a Buddy”
Adam Covell, from Callands, is just one of the teenagers to benefit from the scheme.
The 15-year-old , who was diagnosed with autism aged six, has struggled in social situations due to a lack of confidence.
Adam’s mum Bev Covell said: “Adam had been waiting for nearly two years for a buddy, and I had almost given up hope - then I had a phone call from Nuvvy, to say that he had taken over the role as buddy up co-ordinator and was Adam still interested?
"It went from there - and quickly. Within a week or two, Adam had a buddy chosen. Carl is a lovely person and Adam took to him straight away.
"Since then, with the help of his buddy, Adam has grown in confidence and has gained valuable life skills in the process. He still has a long way to go, but life is now looking good."
"He used to get very anxious but the Buddy Up scheme has helped him to gain more confidence and he was going out more as he only used to go out with me.
“It’s great because when they go out they encouraged Adam to pay for the bus, organise where to get the bus from and how to get there.
It’s lovely to see him doing stuff like that as he used to rely on me.”
Adam was paired up with Carl Crouch, from Bewsey, who has been volunteering for the Buddy Up scheme for the past six years.
The 22-year-old, who will be starting a course in social work at Warrington Collegiate in September, said: “I have been coming to WYC since I was little and I wanted to do something where I could give back to the club.
“Adam has come on really well. When we first started he didn’t want to go to different places or talk to new people. But I have helped him to keep trying new things.”
For more information call 581203 or e-mail at NuvvyS@warringtonyouthclub.co.uk
Warrington Youth Club is our charity of the month for August. Each week, we will be finding out how the club makes a real difference to young people in the community and how it aims to inspire people to reach their potential by offering a range of opportunities and services.
NEXT WEEK: Take a look and how you can get involved and support the Warrington Youth Club