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What the Macmillan Buddy Scheme means to npower

01/07 2019Posted by: npower Resourcing Team Subscribe to this blog


It’s all about community at npower, whether that’s coming together to help out our team mates in the office or getting out and about to support people who need it most. As part of this commitment to togetherness, we have a longstanding partnership with Macmillan, doing everything from hosting bake sales through to climbing mountains to raise funds for the cancer support charity. 

Another way we show our support is through our Macmillan Buddy Scheme, which is now in its sixth year. This provides a different way for our team members to contribute: by being their buddy. We initiated the service, which offers face-to-face and telephone support, with Macmillan and remain the only organisation to run the Buddy Scheme today. It’s proven to be enormously successful across our team and has made a significant impact in the wider community. 

Heather Tyrer, Community Manager, says of the scheme: 

“The scheme helps to reduce isolation, increase confidence and provide reassurance at a difficult time. Our buddies offer practical support such as helping with day-to-day activities like shopping, light gardening, housework and getting to an appointment. Or simply sitting down for a cuppa and a chat. 

“In most cases these visits happen during business hours which, with the support of line managers, makes this service possible to offer.” 


We currently have 25 employees signed up to be a buddy, one of whom made the New Year Honours list for her work with Macmillan, picking up her British Empire Medal last month. Read more about Sam's story here

What makes the Macmillan Buddy Scheme so special? 

Our team members share what they get out of buddying: 

Telephone buddy 

"I’ve been matched up with a lovely lady called Elizabeth. I contact her every Monday on my day off. Unfortunately, she is housebound at the moment which she finds frustrating and quite lonely at times. Having spoken to her three times now, I’m starting to build up a picture of the bubbly, sociable lady she was in her younger years and can totally understand her frustration while she’s adapting to her new way of life. I look forward to my calls with her each week and love that we are now familiar enough with each other to share some laughs, in fact I make it my mission each week to make sure we find something to chuckle at.” 

Face-to-face buddy
“Mel is under the care of Macmillan and has stage four cancer under a palliative care plan. I’ve been visiting him for three-and-a-half years now, thanks to the buddy scheme and npower’s commitment to it. A group of volunteers organised through the Hope Team visited Mel’s home to take down his two old sheds and build a bright shiny new one in its place - something Mel has been wanting to do for a while but not had the energy to do so. Everybody worked incredibly hard and I really cannot thank everyone enough for all their hard work and dedication.” 

Telephone buddy 
“I‘ve been matched with my Macmillan telephone buddy and l am finding it so rewarding. I was shocked when l learned that there were 70,000 people each year who lack support from family or friends during their treatment and recovery from cancer. I was a little nervous on the first call as the lady l’m matched with was in low spirit. She is receiving palliative care and her partner had recently passed away. We soon had a couple of laughs and l was buzzing at the end of it. 

It's nice to know that for an hour a week we can brighten up a day for someone who has no-one else to really talk to.” 

Telephone buddy 
"The reason I enjoy being a Macmillan volunteer is because I feel like I can make a little difference. There is a special satisfaction you get when you help someone that you do not get with anything else. And I think if everyone does a little something to help out the world will be a better place." 

Telephone buddy

"I’ve been buddied up with a lovely man called Martin. He is on his own all day and looks forward to receiving my call when we discuss his holiday travels and day-to-day events. It’s good to give somebody an hour a week of your time - it really makes a difference to their lives." 

The Macmillan Buddy Scheme is making a big difference to the lives of those who are affected by cancer – and the lives of our team members. Thanks to all our buddies and keep up the good work!
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