Sense Virtual Buddying volunteers make a real difference to supporting young people and adults who may be lonely or isolated.

Sense matches volunteers with disabled people to meet for an hour a week on Zoom, over phone, by email, text or letter writing. Our volunteers have spent thousands of hours with their buddies — learning new skills, having fun, and forming fantastic friendships. Sense matches each volunteer with someone who has similar interests, to make sure you have a great time. You and your buddy choose a time that suits you, and you can decide what activities you’d like to do together.

The Role of a Virtual Buddy

Sense matches each volunteer with someone who has similar interests to ensure you’ll have lots of fun together. Once matched with a buddy, you will get to know each other remotely via video calls and phone calls.

You’ll arrange weekly sessions and plan fun things to do together – what this looks like will be inspired by your mutual interests. You could be gaming, doing arts and crafts, playing music, seed planting – there are so many possibilities! We will provide you with weekly themed activities to help to support you in planning your interactions with your buddy.

We’ll also keep in touch with you to ensure you have all the support you need.

The programme is open to all volunteers who are 16 and over. You don't need to have previous experience volunteering or caring for disabled people. We welcome people from all backgrounds and with all interests.

What we can Offer You

Before you start your volunteering role, we’ll make sure that you’ve had the training you need to feel confident. This will be delivered online and via video call.

While you’re volunteering with us as a Virtual Buddy, you’ll get:

A written account of your volunteering and references if required
Reimbursement of pre-agreed expenses (up to £25)
Volunteering as a Sense Virtual Buddy is a great opportunity to develop new skills and get to know new people whilst making a real difference to a person’s life.

Who we are Looking For

We need positive, empathetic volunteers who are passionate about supporting people with complex disabilities to communicate and experience the world. We are looking for volunteers who are great communicators and who are friendly, enthusiastic, positive and ready to have fun!

We’re also always looking for volunteers who have knowledge or experience of British Sign Language (BSL) and/or other communication methods like Makaton.

About Sense

For everyone living with complex disabilities. For everyone who is deafblind. Sense is here to offer personalised support to help people communicate and experience the world. We believe that no one, no matter how complex their disabilities, should be isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential. Our experts offer support that’s tailored to the individual needs of each person, whether that’s at our centres, through our holidays and short breaks, or in people’s own homes. In addition to practical support, we also provide information to families, and campaign for the rights of people with complex disabilities to take part in life.

Volunteers add real value to Sense, bringing their passion, enthusiasm and fresh perspectives to the work that we do. We believe that volunteers enable us to bring people together, and provide opportunities for people with complex disabilities to communicate and experience the world.

We include. We collaborate. We find a way. We challenge. We celebrate.

If you have any questions regarding the role or would like some more information please contact the volunteering team at [email protected] 

We’d love for you to consider joining us as a Sense Virtual Buddy!