Volunteer as a Sense Buddy in London or Manchester

Are you based in London or Manchester? Volunteer to spend quality time with a young disabled person in your community.

What is Sense Buddying?

A Sense Buddy volunteer and their Buddy wearing a sequin jacket and pompom on her head laughing together

Our Sense Buddying programmes match disabled young people with like-minded volunteers in their local area. 

As a Sense Buddy volunteer, you might go with your Buddy to gigs, the aquarium or even rock climbing. What you do is up to you.

We ask our Buddy volunteers to try and give three hours a week, usually on the weekends or evenings, for a minimum of six months. You’ll get full training before you start. 

Support a disabled person to live a fun, independent life – and make a new friend in the process!

Sign up now to volunteer as a Sense Buddy

Right now, we’re looking for Sense Buddy volunteers in east London, west London and Manchester. 

If you live somewhere else in the UK, or prefer to meet online, check out our Virtual Buddying programme

Volunteer as a Sense Buddy

Sign up now to volunteer as a Sense Buddy.

“Seeing their face light up when you enter their house to pick them up for a session beats any award or certificate I have earned. It is a one-of-a-kind feeling.”

George, Sense Buddy volunteer

How it works

  1. Let us know you’re interested by filling out the form on this page.
  2. If you’re eligible for the programme, you’ll be invited for an informal interview by the Sense Volunteering team. 
  3. If your interview is successful, we’ll need an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check from you. We’ll pay the admin fee for this. 
  4. We’ll also spend some time getting to know you, so we can match you with a Buddy you’ll get along with. 
  5. You’ll have an induction training package, and ongoing one-to-one support and top-up training sessions. 
  6. You’ll spend three hours a week with your Buddy, for a minimum of six months. 
  7. Sense will give you a budget for activity and travel expenses. 
  8. How you spend the time is up to you and your new friend!
A Sense Buddy Volunteer is kneeling next to his Sense Buddy in a theatre with red chairs behind them. They are both wearing green lanyards.
Buddies Jordan and Fai, at Halfmoon Theatre in east London after a drama session.

Who can be a Sense Buddy volunteer?

You don’t need any particular experience to become a Sense Buddy – we’ll give you full training. We’re looking for anyone who:

  • Lives in London or Manchester.
  • Is at least 18 years old.

We’re especially keen to hear from male volunteers, and from people who:

  • Live in the east London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Redbridge, Hackney, and Newham.
  • Have experience of supporting people with disabilities or Special Educational Needs.
  • Work in health and social care, or speech and language therapy.
  • Can sign British Sign Language (BSL) or use alternative communication methods.

“I really enjoy volunteering with Sense Buddying.”

Ahmed, Sense Buddy volunteer

Got a bit less time to give?

It only takes 90 minutes a week to be a Sense Virtual Buddy.