An Eastleigh-backed project to support, motivate and “buddy” people with disability and adults with mental health issues has seen off stiff competition to be shortlisted for an Aviva Community Fund Award
Now it’s down to a public vote to see if the scheme scoops one of the coveted cash awards.
The Eastleigh Activity Buddy scheme will see local volunteers work on a one-to-one basis with individuals to encourage and motivate them to achieve their goals, provide assistance and help them breakdown any barriers to participation in active, healthy and community living.
These activities could include simply accompanying their new friend to a gym or the theatre, swimming or running together, reminding the person they are buddying of their personal goals when they might be having a difficult time and encourage them to keep trying.
If selected for the award, the Aviva Community fund will be used exclusively to fund a Buddy Scheme co-ordinator in a three-year post, who will be responsible for recruiting volunteers, matching buddies to suitable individuals, liaising with community groups and sports clubs to support the buddy scheme, and training buddies.
Based at the new state-of-the-art leisure centre, which opens next month (November 2017), the Buddy co-ordinator will work with a host of leisure and cultural venues across the borough including The Point and The Berry Theatres; Wildern School; Pavilion on the Park and Hamble College.
Building on an existing programme currently operated by HealthWorks, the aim of the scheme is to increase participation in physical activity and increase attendance at the wide array of leisure and cultural venues and facilities throughout the borough while targeting hard to reach groups in the community who would benefit from the buddy scheme.
Eastleigh Borough Council’s portfolio lead for Wellbeing Cllr Alan Broadhurst said: “The Eastleigh Activity Buddy scheme is built on great people helping others to achieve great things.
“The Aviva Fund would allow us to expand the current service, to help us to support those most at risk of being or remaining inactive and will contribute to the residents of Eastleigh leading a more happy, healthy and positive lifestyle.”