Buddies Club Playscheme, now Buddies Clubs and Services was started by a group of parents in northwest Glasgow in October 1994. They started a Sunday afternoon play club for their children affected by disability, most aged five to ten.  Because of their disabilities, the children were and still are denied the freedom of any sort of play or peer interaction.  Existence for most of them was school and home – social life nil.

Work done in a local church hall by parents, family and friends, was so successful that we moved to larger premises and started an afterschool Club three days a week.

Families were delighted: children’s lives were being enlarged.

With financial support from local government, Buddies began paying a few sessional workers.  In summer ’95 we ran a splendidly successful six-week play scheme during the school holidays.

Soon Buddies became a Recognised Scottish Charity and a company limited by guarantee – all run by a board of parents and carers of the children who come to Buddies so eagerly. 

Charitable status allowed us to fundraise more widely and the proceeds let us bring in more children, pay more staff and buy more toys and equipment.

Our first great fundraising success was our application to BBC Children in Need who gave a large grant in autumn ’96 spread over three years.

Building on this generous award, Buddies expanded yet again.  In summer 2001 Buddies was on the move again – into more spacious premises in Netherton Community Centre, Anniesland, with more facilities to take more children and now young adults. 

After school is now five days aweek, the original Sunday club always has a wait list. Buddies have play schemes and college breaks in school/college Easter, Summer and October holidays, with up to 50 children/young adults a day off on outings and living their own lives together.
We have formed two teenage groups where our youngsters are encouraged to make their own plans to do their own things. There are also two evening groups for young adults.

Our mainstream nursery project now caters for 55 children from 0-5 years. The community outreach project is already over subscribed and expanding. Adventure breaks have been introduced over the last two years with support from The ‘Short Breaks Fund’ and others. These have proved so popular there is now a wait list and a major fundraising drive.

We now have over 150 families using Buddies one way or another. There are 30+ well trained sessional staff, a nursery manager and team of child development officers. A main services manager and team leader who organise services for children and young adults age from 5-35 who are affected by a range of disabilities.

A high percentage of our children and young people have Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although we are not an ‘Autism Specific organisation ’ each service we provide is designed to meet individual need. We get to know our families before we offer services.

The team is managed by the Chief Executive and the Board of Management. The board continues to be parent led and the children and young adults with their families drive forward and help design the services.

Aims and Objectives


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