What is Leisure Buddies?
The Age Friendly Leisure Buddy Program, or “Leisure Buddies,” matches an older adult volunteer, “buddy,” with an older adult participant who faces barriers to participating in social and recreation activities. It was created by the Social Participation group of the Age Friendly London Network.
The Buddies get out into the community together, and may attend an older adult social or recreational program.
The goal of the program is to help older adults participate independently in activities.
Leisure Buddies is supported by a New Horizons for Seniors Grant Program through Employment and Social Development Canada. Funding of up to $100 per person is available to cover program costs.
Who Can Participate in Leisure Buddies?
This program is aimed towards two groups of older adults (age 55 +):
1. Participants: Older adults who face barriers to participation in social/recreation programs.
This can be due to a variety of factors such as income, lack of transportation, being new to London, not knowing about available programs, etc. This group is called the “participants”. The only requirements to be a participant are 1) you are not currently participating in any social, leisure, or recreation programs or activities, and 2) you have identified one or more barriers that have prevented you from participating.
2. Volunteers: Active older adults who volunteer as “buddies”.
Volunteer buddies are matched with a participant and attend a program of the participant's choice for a limited period of time. Volunteers must complete an application and training process and commit to volunteering with the program for one year.