Buddies Club Playscheme now Buddies Clubs and Services was started by a group of parents in northwest Glasgow in October 1994. They started a Sunday afternoon play club for their children affected by disability – most aged five to ten. Because of their disabilities, the childrenwere and still are denied the freedom of any sort of play or peer interaction.. Existence for most of them was school and home – sociallife nil.
Work done in a local church hall by parents, family and friends, was so successful that we moved to larger premises and started an afterschool Club three days a week.
Families were delighted: children’s lives were being enlarged .
With financial support from local government, Buddies began paying a few sessional workers. In summer ’95 we ran a splendidly successful six-week play scheme during the school holidays.
Soon Buddies became a Recognised Scottish Charity and a company limited by guarantee – all run by a board of parents and carers of thechildren who come to Buddies so eagerly.
Charitable status allowed us to fundraise more widely, and the proceeds let us bring in more children, pay more staff and buy more toys andequipment.
Our first great fundraising success was our application to BBC Children in Need who gave a large grant in autumn ’96 spread over threeyears.
Building on this generous award, Buddies expanded yet again. In summer 2001 Buddies was on the move again – into more spacious premises inNetherton Community Centre, Anniesland, with more facilities to take more children and now young adults. After school is now five days aweek, the original Sunday club always has a wait list .Buddies have play schemes and college breaks in school/ college Easter, Summer andOctober holidays, with up to 50 children/ young adults a day off on outings and living their own lives together We have formed two teenagegroups where our youngsters are encouraged to make their own plans to do their own things. There are also two evening groups for youngadults.
Our mainstream nursery project now caters for 55 children from 0-5 years. The community outreach project is already over subscribed andexpanding. Adventure breaks have been introduced over the last two years with support from The ‘ Short Breaks Fund’ and others. These haveproved so popular there is now a wait list and a major fund raising drive.

 

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