Volunteer as a Sense Virtual Buddy

Looking to volunteer from your home? Become a Sense Virtual Buddy and support a disabled young person to have fun and learn new skills - while they help you to do the same.

Volunteer as a buddy

What is virtual buddying?

Sense Virtual Buddying matches volunteers and disabled people.

You meet online, once a week, at a time that suits you and your buddy.

You might play a game, watch a film, try baking, or craft something. You can teach guitar, or learn sign language, or just chat about your week.

We promise you’ll have fun making a new friend with similar hobbies and interests!

Smiling woman

It's given me something to look forward to each week.

Saihan, Sense buddy

Volunteer as a buddy

Just fill in this form and we'll send you more information about next steps.

Becoming a volunteer buddy

First, we'll spend time getting to know you, so we can match you with a disabled person based on your similar interests, sense of humour and communication style.

You'll get a couple of hours of training before you start, and we're always here to help.

Once matched, you'll start getting to know your buddy via video calls. We hope you'll volunteer for around 90 minutes a week - about 30 minutes planning the session and then an hour with your buddy. Most calls are in the afternoons and evenings, but it's up to you and your buddy.

You must be at least 16 years of age to become a Sense Virtual Buddy.

Once you're happy to meet your buddy:

You'll stay in touch with your buddy, and their family or carers, to organise and set up weekly buddying sessions.

We'll provide you with themed activities every week to help you both have fun in your sessions. Expect games, arts and crafts, music, seed planting and baking!

You'll stay in touch with Sense to let us know how your match is going. Remember, we're always here to help and support you.

I felt very supported from the very beginning. Even now (4 months in) I know I can talk to you about anything and get some more support from you

Amy, volunteer buddy

Could you be our perfect match?

You don't need to have previous experience volunteering, or caring for disabled people, to become a volunteer buddy. As well as looking for more buddies generally, we're specifically on the lookout for:

  • Level three British Sign Language (BSL) buddies .
  • - Volunteers who love making music.
  • - Volunteers who are passionate about technology

If this sounds like you or someone you know, get in touch with us.

Cooking and baking brought Trisha-Mae and I closer together. Those moments in between pre-heating the oven and eating a slice of cake were some of the happiest I had during the pandemic. All thanks to my buddy, Trisha-Mae.

Rebecca, volunteer buddy

Any questions?

If you have any questions about virtual buddying with Sense, feel free to get in touch

Face to face buddying

We are also looking for volunteers to meet young people face to face, for weekend activities based in Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham and Redbridge.

We ask volunteers to commit to three hours a week, for a minimum of six months. We offer full training before you start.

You could go swimming, bowling, visiting museums and parks, or just going to the cafe. Whatever activities you choose, you will make a big difference in their life.

We provide a budget for travel and activity expenses and also offer a range of additional training opportunities. 

Safety measures during COVID-19

We are following the all the official guidance and have implemented strict safety measures to eliminate any risk for our face to face buddying. We’ll walk you through all the safety measures throughout the application process.

Apply to volunteer in Redbridge and East London.

Buddies meet up at Sense's Thrive festival