Talking about tomorrow

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Everyone’s a winner

Shopping Buddies brings together disabled people in East Renfrewshire to learn new skills, be involved in their community – and tackle loneliness at the same time.

Members of the Buddies team visit older people in the community to pick up their shopping lists, then go to the supermarket, before returning to unpack everything and put it away. A support worker accompanies each pair of Buddies to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Along the way new relationships are formed, barriers are broken down and a very practical support need is met.

The service started with three Buddies and two customers, but now supports around 30 customers over a 5-day week. Other areas are getting their own teams up and running.

The Buddies get to know many customers individually and are ideally placed to spot any needs that might arise. Time for a chat is part of the service, and for some older people this is a highlight of their day. Meanwhile local supermarkets are increasingly aware of the project, and the teams are easy to identify by the Shopping Buddies logo on their trollies and bags.

For customers, the benefits are obvious. For the Buddies, learning the skills involved and providing a service others rely on is a huge boost to confidence and self esteem.

Definitely a win-win!

Thank you to Shopping Buddies for the photos