Best Buddies International is the largest organization in the world dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic exclusion of 200 million people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders (IDD). Our programs empower people with IDD by helping them build meaningful peer relationships, gain successful employment, live independently, improve public speaking skills, self-advocacy and communication, and feel valued by society.
Best Buddies UK is part of a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, leadership development, and inclusive living for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Having a friend and a paid job is something so many of us take for granted, but for some, making friends and finding employment can be really difficult. This is where Best Buddies can help!
Best Buddies UK works with local partners in England, Northern Ireland, and Scotland to provide friendships to disabled adults in the community. We are currently focused on expansion in Greater London, England and are planning to introduce new inclusive friendship programmes and integrated employment opportunities to the city in 2023. Our pilot friendship programmes in London partner neighboring typical and SEN schools to bring together students of different abilities to embrace differences, promote inclusion and ultimately build meaningful friendships; our pilot employment programmes offer integrated and paid work opportunities to young adults in corporate settings with support from a job coach starting at the pre-employment preparation stage up through the entire length of employment.
Best Buddies UK works to support people with intellectual or developmental disabilities such as Down’s syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Williams syndrome, and Fragile-X syndrome.
WHO WE SERVE
Best Buddies UK works to support people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down’s syndrome, Autism, Asperger’s syndrome, Williams syndrome, and Fragile-X syndrome.
Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society.
Builds friendships between people with and without IDD, offering social coaching, while improving the quality of life and the level of inclusion for the population, which is often isolated and excluded from society.
BESTBUDDIES® School-based friendship programmes and Citizens programmes create an inclusive environment for students and adults with IDD, helping them integrate socially with their peers at any age.
E-BUDDIES® offers an online program where a participant with an IDD communicates with a friend without an IDD.
Provides employment for IDD, enabling them to earn money, pay taxes and support themselves financially and independently.
Brings together trained IDD qualified professionals with companies that are looking for dedicated and dedicated employees. Through the Employment Program, Best Buddies develops partnerships with employers, assists in the hiring process, and provides ongoing support for the employee and employer. Pre-Employment Training Services are also offered in some of our communities, to ensure our participants are fully prepared for the workforce.
Educates and empowers people with IDD to become leaders, public speakers and advocates for themselves and others.
Offers people with and without IDD the opportunity to gain the public speaking skills, self-esteem and confidence necessary to successfully advocate for themselves, their peers and their Best Buddies in communities, workplaces and government.
Empowers young people to advocate for the rights of people with IDD by allowing them to run Best Buddies clubs and programs with a focus on organizing special events to promote inclusion and awareness of the disability movement.
Provides an integrated experience where people with and without IDD feel like active citizens living independently in a dynamic environment where they can learn, grow and thrive.
Provides opportunities for people with and without IDD to live together in a vibrant educational community, helping all residents with employment, financial literacy, continuing education and life skills while working to achieve personal goals.
Currently, we are prioritizing expansion in Greater London and looking for:
- Schools and corporate work places that would be interested in learning more about our inclusive friendship and leadership programmes
- Individuals with and without disabilities that would be interested in being matched in an inclusive friendship
- Handicapped-accessible restaurants or event spaces in the London area that would be interested in hosting us for upcoming orientations and awareness events
- Vendors interested in donating food or drink, or goods for raffle/auction for use in these events
- Individuals with and without disabilities interested in learning more about our virtual Ambassador trainings, which support self-advocacy and advocacy for inclusion of disabled people
- Volunteers interested in being part of a working group to discuss strategies for recruitment and outreach throughout the general UK area
- Individuals interested in joining the Best Buddies UK board of trustees
If you’re interested in hosting a friendship programme, hiring someone with disabilities, or getting involved in another way, please email