Blatchington Friends provide social and independence support to clients aged 14 and over, with 1:1 support in the community or assisting with group activities BCT has organised. The goal of the service is to boost the confidence and social independence of clients. Any 1:1 work with clients will be outcome focused and tailored to the needs of the individual. The client and Blatchington Friend will agree measurable monthly and in some instances longer-term personal goals for the client to aim for and achieve during their 1:1 sessions.
The Blatchington Friend and client do things together such as: Attending community activities such as choir groups, dance groups, poetry clubs and gigs; going to the cinema, shopping, the beach, coffee shops, long walks; and visiting places using public transport. We also encourage Blatchington Friends and clients to meet other BCT pairs to make it sociable and fun. We understand in winter months it is difficult to do things outdoors therefore we can offer our basement room for you to do any activity.
The Blatchington Friend and client are allocated 16 hours per month together. The support must not extend to other family members or friends of the client; it is specifically for the individual and is focused as a social role. Clients are expected to fund both themselves and the Blatchington Friend for any priced activities they choose to do; we fund the time, travel costs and –to an extent – refreshments for the Blatchington Friend.
The Blatchington Friend will also be expected to attend a group supervision meeting every two months so we can discuss the pairings and share experiences and good practice as well as keep training updated..
The Outreach Development Officer will match the client and the Blatchington Friend based on their personality and attributes. After the Blatchington Friend completes all the required training [Safeguarding, Sighted Guide training and any further requirements based on the client’s needs], the Outreach Development officer will organise the first meet up and be present. This meeting is for the client and Blatchington Friend to meet and get to know one another, discussing ideas of what they can do together and exchange numbers, as well as plan the next independent meet up.
Become a Friend
Apply online to become a BCT Friend.
Need a Friend?
Apply online to request support from a BCT friend.