Meet Amy and Livia, Sense Buddies with a magical friendship
Our Sense Buddying programmes match disabled young people with like-minded volunteers in their local area.
Amy and Livia have struck up an amazing friendship whilst being matched on the Sense Buddying Programme. There was an instant connection between them, as they bonded over their mutual love for animals and Harry Potter. They have been matched together since October 2020 and have found wonderful ways to go out and enjoy their community, try new activities, and remain connected throughout lockdown.
Amy is a 30-year-old physio living in London. She said that the buddy programme first appealed to her because, “I was looking to understand the challenges that young people with complex disabilities and their families face. I was also new to London and wanted to meet new people and thought buddying would be a great way to explore – which it has been!”
Livia’s family are also so grateful for Amy and the support she has provided. They explain why:
“Livia finds making friends very difficult and this means that, outside school, she spends a lot of time in her room or going out with us, her parents, when we have time. This means that Livia can feel lonely, and she also misses out on ‘normal’ teenage activities that she enjoys like going to the park, eating out or going to the cinema, and she can easily become quite introspective.
“Meeting Amy has really helped with this. Livia really looks forward to her calls (during lockdown) and face-to-face meet-ups and really enjoys the time she spends with Amy. I can’t praise highly enough the effort that Amy puts into thinking of interesting activities for the two of them to do – from baking cakes and bread over zoom – to trips to the theatre and into central London.
“Livia always comes back full of stories about what she has been up to and that is always great to see in her. Livia is naturally a very fun-loving person and Amy helps to keep that ignited in her.”
Amy has always gone above and beyond when it comes to planning sessions, no matter what they’re up to. She sends Livia craft packages in the post for them to complete over Zoom; she makes sure she always has the materials to make Harry Potter friendship bracelets in her bag, in case Livia feels overwhelmed; she organises matching Harry Potter puzzles for them to complete at one of their Zoom brunches or tea parties.
Amy has given Livia an opportunity which she could only have dreamed of before – of being able to socialise without fear of judgement and away from her parents.
Since coming out of lockdown, Amy has helped Livia transition back into London life, by building up her confidence to travel further afield, and they have been on many wonderful day trips, including dinner at the Sky garden, Hackney markets, Harry Potter exhibitions and even to see The Lion King at the West End!
Amy and Livia now regularly attend Buddying group sessions together and individually, and are active and well-loved members of the Sense Buddying community.