The essence of the Big Brother Big Sister programme is rooted in the most fundamental human relationships: a caring interaction between two people, one older than the other. Out of this interaction young people develop in ways that will make them more likely to succeed in the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Our programmes are delivered in two main settings -
Community-based matches (CBMs) are made between an adult volunteer Big Brother/Sister and a Little Brother/Sister, with a commitment to meeting at once a week for a year, in a location of their choice within the community. In the first year matches focus on developing a friendship between the Big and the Little as research shows this produces the most effective results. As the match progresses, they orientate towards achieving a goal, such as learning a new skill, improving school attendance or improving relationships with a siblings.
School-based matches (SBMs) generally involve older students (in transition or fifth year) as Bigs, mentoring first- year students. Mentoring activities take place in school premises and can therefore be monitored and supported by a member of the school staff dedicated to the programme. SBMs can be effective at improving school retention and academic performance, and addressing the issue of bullying in schools. The match is intended to produce benefits for both the student Big and the Little.
BBBS is based on the idea that a created relationship between an older and younger person will act to prevent future difficulties and be a support to a young person facing adversity in their lives. Having a caring adult friend can help to build positive assets for young people to enable them to have a positive sense of self and their future.