Adult Friendship Scheme
The Adult Friendship Scheme operates in both the Uttlesford and Harlow areas and it provides adults with a disability [our members] opportunities to take part in leisure and social activities within their local communities.
The primary aim of the scheme is to reduce social isolation for our members, while a secondary bonus is that it can provide short breaks for carers and families. The scheme is run by a project coordinator, deputy coordinator, paid community support workers and volunteers and is used by a total of over 75 members.
The scheme offers a wide range of activities for our members to get involved in. Firstly, a monthly social evening is held in each area where there is the opportunity to discuss possible future trips and activities, as well as have a catch up with friends over a cup of coffee. Also at these monthly get-togethers, we frequently have quizzes, craft activities and outside games.
Secondly, our community support workers enable individuals or small groups of members to participate in a very wide range of activities and social opportunities which are, importantly, chosen by our members. These include a diverse range of activities including, for example, pub meals, a trip to the Newmarket Stud, bowling, ice hockey, theatre trips.
Additionally, we also have member-led special interest groups. These include a cooking group, a walking group which ranges in ability http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/mans-health/ from “the strollers” to “the striders”, with the latter regularly joining the local Rambling Society organised walks, as well as Lads groups, Women’s groups, cinema groups and many more.
During the summer we also organise a number of group day trips out. Recently we have had trips to the seaside, theme parks, the zoo, “Matilda” – the West End musical, to name a few. These trips are very popular and are greatly enjoyed by all.
As well as volunteers getting involved in small group activities and monthly socials, there is also the opportunity to volunteer in a 1:1 befriending scheme. This involves matching a volunteer to a member with whom they have similar interests. All our volunteers are friendly, approachable and interested in meeting people and sharing experiences.
Volunteers are from all walks of life and are aged 18+ and have undergone an assessment process which includes an enhanced DBS check and reference checks.