The new academic year see’s the introduction of a socially inclusive peer support programme with our Parklife buddy scheme. Students can volunteer to be a ‘Buddy’. Buddies will accompany students to sessions if they don’t want to turn up alone; this has a number of benefits from simply offering a playing partner, to improving confidence, reducing anxieties and widening social circles. Our Parklife 17/18 Survey highlighted the social benefits of Parklife, with 70% of participants making new friends. The survey also revealed the importance of a social connection for someone to attend, so we hope the buddy scheme will make Parklife more accessible to those students whose friends might not be interested in attending. Those who sign up to become a Buddy will benefit from invaluable volunteering experience to add to their CV, with soft skills often being the top of employers sought after graduate skills. For Participants the scheme is just one more addition to the Parklife programme that lends itself to supporting the overall wellbeing of staff and students.
Sport Brighton’s Parklife programme has a range of other voluntary, and paid, opportunities available to support students’ employability; from NGB supported ambassador roles to generic activator roles, all of which make the Parklife a peer led, inclusive and engaging programme for all students to benefit from. All volunteers are offered a comprehensive training package to support the success of the roles and their ongoing development.