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Frequently Asked Questions

How is Best Buddies different from a mentoring program?

Best Buddies is about friendship. This means that there is equal responsibility within the relationship. Both people are responsible to contact each other regularly, share any costs (e.g. split the bill for dinner) and to make an effort when things might be a little difficult.

What sort of things should I do with my Buddy?

The simple answer is: do whatever day-to-day activities you would do with your other friends including sports. It does not need to be an expensive outing, just something you agree to do together.

I’ve never had a friend with an intellectual disability before, how should I treat them?

Treat your Buddy how you treat other friends; the same way you would expect to be treated yourself. This means with respect, kindness and with honesty.

What if I don’t get along with my Buddy?

We try and match Buddies as best we can, however sometimes things don’t work out. Talk to your Chapter President or your Program Manager about this and we’ll find another Buddy to match you with.

Why do we have to fill in paperwork?

This is mostly about feedback. The paperwork lets us know when things are going well or if we need to help the Chapters a little more. However we also need paperwork completed so we can have insurance and good communication between those involved and Best Buddies staff.

How often should I see my Buddy?

You should see your Buddy twice a month to do something outside of school times, as well as contacting each other once a week by phone, text, msn, email or face-to-face.

What if I can’t see my Buddy this often?

One of the things about friendships is that it requires you to spend time together on a regular basis. However, we also understand that sometimes this may be difficult (e.g. you may have exams or other commitments). When this is the case, it’s really important to let your Buddy know and organise another time to meet.

We ask that you try your best, and if you are not meeting the minimum requirements, make sure you let your Chapter President knows as soon as possible.

How do I manage difficult behaviour?

Best Buddies is not based around the goal of managing another person’s difficult behaviour, and we don’t match people who are violent or require a lot of assistance.

However, sometimes people have behaviour that’s different to what you are personally used to. It’s important to try and be understanding and flexible. If this doesn’t help, talk to your Chapter President, Buddy Director or Program Manager.

Why do we meet in groups?

We ask you to do this for two reasons. Firstly it’s fun to do things with other people as a group. It means you can talk about experiences you have in common and share ideas. This sometimes takes a little bit of planning, however as a Chapter you can set time aside to do this.

The second reason is that Best Buddies is about trying to change the community as a whole. This means that when you do things as a group you demonstrate to others what Best Buddies is about. Sometimes you may have visitors or sponsors come along to enjoy the fun with you.