News » Contribution to Community Award - "Best Buddies" have done it again.Last updated 10:06 AM on 30 April 2012
At a special reception on On 28 March, the Mayor of Woollahra, Cr Susan Wynne, announced the winners of the 2012 Woollahra Citizenship Awards. Rose Bay Secondary College was was highly commended for it commitment to the Best Buddies Program which aims to build friendships and support between student volunteers and young people with intellectual disabilities.
RBSC is listed among Woollahra's local heroes, all thanks to our Buddies!
Best Buddies seeks to enhance the lives of people with intellectual disability by providing opportunities for friendship. Each volunteer (Peer Buddy) is paired to a person with an intellectual disability from our support class. Together they organise and enjoy everyday activities, such as a trip to the movies or dinner at a restaurant.
Peer Buddies are paired up with a person who are about the same age, same gender, live close by and have a mild to moderate intellectual disability. The framework requires the Buddies to commit to a 12 month program during which time they are required to meet twice a month and to have some other form of contact every week, such as a phone call or email.
Buddy pairs are trained and given guidance about the social expectations of friendships. They are supported by Program Managers who facilitate the matches, encourage the relationship, provide training and monitor adherence to the Best Buddies framework.
Best Buddies focus on the development of a friendship rather than a mentoring relationship. This provides mutual benefits by shifting both parties' understanding of disability and social inclusion. At Rose Bay Secondary College, we wish to create a socially inclusive community that harnesses the power of one-to-one friendships.
Congratulations to the students involved in the Best Buddies Program! Check out the gallery for more photos of our buddies.