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About the organisation


Sense is a national disability charity that supports people with complex communication needs to be understood, connected and valued. We are here for every person who faces communication barriers in a world that relies on being able to see and hear well to be connected. Our flexible and personalised services empower people to communicate and express themselves – be it through speech or sign, touch or movement, gesture or sound, art or dance. Together, we connect differently and campaign passionately for the right to lead connected and fulfilled lives.

Application deadline: 

With your ability to support people with complex needs, including autism, you will discover that supporting a child or young person on the Tower Hamlets Buddy Scheme a deeply rewarding and life enriching experience.

As a Tower Hamlets Buddy, you will make a real difference to children and young people’s lives, whether it’s nurturing small achievements, creating new connections or triggering life changing moments.

Your passion and enthusiasm will ensure that our Buddy’s receive the support they need to have a fantastic time. We’re looking for 3 hours a week on a weekend, for at least 6 months, which will allow you to develop a strong relationship and see positive change over time. Every 6 weeks we organise a group activity with a group of buddy’s and volunteers.

Initial meetings are supported by our staff team, expenses are covered, there is a training day and ongoing supervision and peer support will also be provided.

By applying your skills to the challenge, we know that you will gain as much as you give.

Apply Now for Summer Holidays!

Role Aim: 

Sense is running an exciting and innovative new volunteer led buddying service in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, providing 1 to 1 and/or group buddying to children and young people with disabilities. Children and young people will be supported by volunteers to access services and activities in the area that they are interested in, this could vary from play to learning to climb, to concerts or sports. Volunteers will be supported by a service coordinator and buddying assistants.


Typical tasks include:

*Building strong relationships with children and young people, and their families.

*Supporting children and young people either 1:1 or in a group to access activities that meet their needs, wants and aspirations.

*Supporting children and young people to develop new interests and explore new activities.

*Supporting Buddying Assistants in the planning and delivery of an exciting activity program.

*Helping to set up sessions and clear away after activities.

*Supporting children and young people to travel to and from activities, either on foot, by public transport or accompanying them in their own vehicles.

Skills needed: 

We’re looking for people who are:

*Interested in meeting new people and enjoying leisure and social opportunities in their local area.

*Willing to develop the knowledge and skills to get to know and support children and young people with disabilities effectively

*Having some previous knowledge or experience of working with children and young people with disabilities would be desirable but is not essential.

*Able to work well individually and as part of a team

*Committed to providing support in a way that offers choice, independence and dignity

*Reliable and punctual


A full induction to prepare you for the role

*Ongoing learning and development opportunities

*One to one and / or group based support from the Young People’s Services Coordinator and/or Buddying Assistants.

*Agreed out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed, in line with Sense policy.

*Training takes place regularly throughout the year

Volunteers will work in or around Tower Hamlets. It could involve doing social activities, going out, visiting someone's home, whatever activity your buddy is interested in. This could include group activities as well.
Time commitment: 
3-5 hours per week
Opening times: 
This is a flexible opportunity that can be undertaken any time that is convenient between you and your buddy.
Once you’ve registered interest in this volunteering role, we’ll send your name and UCL email address to the organisation for their records. You’ll also receive information about the next steps to take if you do wish to take things forward. The organisation has signed up to our code of standards, which includes a commitment to protecting your data. We won’t share your information with anyone unless you’ve given explicit consent to. We’ll also retain your details so we can follow up to see how you’re getting on with your volunteering and offer support if necessary. We take good care of your data – you can see full details here