Buddy ‘keeps me young’

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Quality time...Family Works Gore Buddy Programme members Bianca Merrett and Emma Wilson bake chocolate biscuits on Friday night. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

It is a win-win situation for good friends Bianca Merrett (12) and Emma Wilson.

For the past two years the pair have been members of the Family Works Gore Buddy Programme and each week they spend about two hours together.

Bianca said she and Miss Wilson liked similar activities.

“She likes soccer and I like soccer,” Bianca said.

The pair had visited Miss Wilson’s parents’s farm at Wallacetown which was Bianca’s favourite way of spending time with her friend.

“I like animals.”

“We’ve done quite a few farm trips,” Miss Wilson said.

Another activity the pair took part in was geocaching.

Geocaching was like a treasure hunt but involved using an app on a mobile phone to find hidden items.

Sometimes they played cards or board games. Neither one liked losing.

“Bianca really likes to win,” Miss Wilson said.

“I’m competitive,” Bianca said.

“I’m very competitive too and we both can’t win,” Miss Wilson said.

It was enjoyable being a buddy.

“Bianca’s a cool wee buddy to hang out with.

“We’ve found some common interests which is good.”

Spending time with Bianca meant she could take part in activities usually associated with younger people, Miss Wilson said.

“I love children’s movies.

“We made slime one day and I’ve still got it in my carpet.”

Being a big buddy was very different to her work as an accountant.

“I really enjoy youth work.

“It keeps me young I think.”

She was inspired to be a buddy because as a young person she had had good role models.

“It’s a good chance to give back.”

Family Works Gore Buddy Programme co-ordinator Amy-Rae Rooijackers said the programme was rewarding both for the young person and adult.

“They create this really cool friendship,” Mrs Rooijackers said.

“They get to hang out and do cool stuff together.”

The group had eight buddy pairs at present but Mrs Rooijackers would like more adults to volunteer. |