At Choice, we understand the important contribution positive friendships can make to our service users’ lives.
To support service users in building these friendships, we have introduced the Smile “buddying” scheme, which has been developed by our Day Services Manager Kerry Hartley.
The Smile process begins with a service user completing a profile form, by providing details including their likes and dislikes and what qualities they are looking for in a friend.
They can also specify preferred communication methods, such as post, phone or email or face-to-face meetings, so that they and their Smile friend can take part in activities together.
Kerry and our in-house psychology team then work together to pair service users who fit together well. A risk assessment is also carried out by the service users’ key workers, to identify any potential issues to be considered if they meet in person.
Kerry says: “Smile is about creating positive friendships that go the extra mile.”