Hand in Hand is a new Volunteer Peer Travel Buddy scheme, (Spring 2022) that helps vulnerable Islington residents successfully travel to other locations in Islington or Camden for appointments, courses, services, walks in green spaces, or events. If you have clients who need assistance or support with travel or reminding of appointments you can now refer them to the scheme.
The scheme is pedestrian and public transport. We do not have vehicles available.
The buddies can:
- Remind people of the appointment
- Accompany residents to appointments, events and activities that they otherwise struggle to attend.
- Provide physical and emotional reassurance during travel and the activity itself
- Support social connectedness by providing friendly, appropriate, and encouraging conversation en route to the activity
- Assist linking with other offers (via information given by partner agencies) by offering information/signposting
- Be available Monday to Friday, 9:30 - 5:00 including travel time
The peer travel buddies are trained, DBS checked and receive supervision, but they are not providing therapy or wider peer support, and they are not entering client’s homes. Their role is primarily in linking, escorting, reminding and reassuring. Although the buddies will be friendly, Hand in Hand is not a befriending service. To allocate a volunteer buddy, we usually need one week notice.
For more information about the project:
Printer-friendly information can be downloaded from the Islington Mind website.
If you know someone who might like to volunteer to be a peer buddy they can register their interest here and will be informed when training is next scheduled.
What can I expect from the Peer Travel Buddy Service? FAQs
What is the Hand in Hand Peer Buddy Travel Service?
Hand in Hand is a scheme that recruits, trains and supports volunteers with lived experience of mental ill-health to accompany Islington residents with mental health problems to appointments, courses and training, services, green spaces, activities and other events.
The buddies can:
- Remind you of an appointment.
- Accompany you to appointments, events and activities that you are otherwise struggling to attend.
- Provide you with support and friendly and encouraging conversation en route to the activity.
- Give advice and information about accessing other support services.
How do I refer?
The fastest way to book a Peer Buddy is via the Islington Mind website: Hand in Hand Service – Islington Mind Usually 1 week’s notice is required to match you with a buddy.
Where can the buddies help me travel to? Are there geographic limits?
Anywhere in the Boroughs of Islington and Camden.
When can the buddies help me?
Buddies are available Monday to Friday, between 9:30am to 5:00pm.
Is there a time limit on how long the buddy can stay with me if I want them to help me get home as well?
Your buddy can stay with you on the journey. Once you get there, they can stay with you for up to an hour, if you have pre-requested it. Or they can wait for up to that amount of time for your return journey. If it is going to be more than an hour, do consider making a second booking for that return journey.
Can I book a regular journey?
You can book a regular weekly or monthly trip for up to three months on the referral form found on the Islington Mind website. Please keep the team notified if anything changes so our buddies can be out there helping other residents.
Am I limited to the number of journeys I can request?
Not at the moment but this may change according to demand for the service, and limits may apply in future.
Can I arrange subsequent journeys directly with my buddy?
No. All bookings must be made through the central booking system. Your buddy may have other clients lined up for them at that time slot, and we also need to know where people are. The fastest way to book is still through Mind: Hand in Hand Service – Islington Mind
What are the limits on what a peer buddy can help with?
The service is essentially a travel companion service. Peer travel buddies will help you get from A to B, but they will not enter your home, they cannot do manual handling or provide personal care, or provide companionship beyond being a travel friend.
Will I have my travel buddy’s phone number?
The buddies are issued with “work” phones to help them coordinate journeys and meet with clients.
This is not their personal number and so whilst you can call and text them in relation to the journey, it is not for general support outside these times. All the buddies are volunteering part-time so the phone may not be on all the time. You may need to wait for a response.
If there is something urgent and your buddy has not responded, call Satoko on Monday, Tuesday & Wednesdays - 07526 692 507, or Stephen on Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays - 07738 236 041
Can I communicate with my buddy via Whatsapp or Signal?
No, our communications are only via text or telephone call.
I don’t always need someone to go with me but I would like a reminder of appointments. Can the service offer this?
Yes, and they can also teach you how to use digital calendars as reminders on your own device. If you need additional tech support you can self-refer to AbilityNet 0800 048 7642
If I have a complaint about the service what can I do?
It’s best to sort issues out as early as possible with the person most directly involved with them. If that doesn’t work then you can contact Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust here explaining the issue and what you think should have happened, and any potential solutions
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