The buddy programme is where volunteers get partnered up with veterans on the Ocean Challenge to aid and enrich the experience.


On the Sailing challenge since beds on board are limited there is one Ocean buddy per boat to help with a crew of veterans and Skipper.





The role of a buddy primarily is to enable the veterans gets the most out of the Ocean Challenge. This entails:


  • Assist with the provisioning of the boats and assisting the skippers check the boat’s safety equipment.

  • Help set up the event including registration and kit preparation.

  • Making sure the vets has everything they need for the day.

  • Ensure their veteran is comfortable with the plan for the day and where they need to be and when.

  • Assist with cooking onboard and helping at the evening meals.

  • Spend the day sailing with the crew of veterans.

  • Help the Skipper run the boat.

  • Supporting them throughout the week and making sure they are happy.

  • Overall assisting with the smooth running of the week.

What we look for in a buddy?


  • Strong listening skills

  • Empathetic and compassionate

  • Self-aware and proactive

  • Enjoys helping others and bring out the best in people

  • Able to fundraise

  • Good Sailors

  • Fun!


How do I get involved as a buddy?

In order to get involved as a buddy you will undergo an application process amongst other potential buddies. On the website there is an online form which you will need to complete. The next stage will be a personal interview with a member of one of the committee.

Do I need to have a military background to become a buddy?

A military background is not essential to effectively participate as a buddy. Buddies are from all backgrounds, jobs and ages thus providing veterans with the opportunity to meet a wide range of people to get advice and support from.

Do buddy’s have to help the veterans with any medical problems.

No. The SWV team has trained medical professionals with them during the ocean week to help with the veterans medical needs.

What are some good ways to fundraise?

Buddies have the freedom to fundraise however they wish. A few suggestions of previous successful attempts include: writing to friends and family; posting on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat); cake sales and sponsored runs.

Can I become a mentor after being a buddy?

Many our buddies go on to become mentors. The process involves applying to becoming a mentor and completing the mentor training and then being assigned a veteran mentee.

What lasting impressions/insights will the trip leave behind on buddies?

The trip will give you a greater understanding on perspective as well as the gain of many new friends with other buddies and veterans. The additional contacts gained from the week not only helps veterans establish employment links but also aids buddies’ network and meet new people.

Do I need to be a good sailor?

Yes, some experience is desired as you will be acting in the position of first mate some experience and qualifications are required. RYA Day skipper is required but more experience is preferred.