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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!

  • What qualifications/ skills do I need?
    Our one year mentoring contract on the SWV Mentoring Scheme is open to individuals who: Are enthusiastic about being a Mentor Feel able to help people move on to a new phase in their lives Are willing and able to fulfill the required time and energy commitments. Business Mentors can be from diverse and all business sectors ​Mentors should have the following skills and abilities: Experience of supporting others through periods of personal change Active listening skills Ability to be non-judgemental Ability to work within confidentiality Assertion skills Problem solving skills Ability to show empathy Ability to be objective Are self-aware and reflective
  • Will I get paid?
    All of our Mentors are volunteers. You will be offered travel expenses when you have to meet your mentee face to face, so that you are not out of pocket. You will be offered the SWV Mentoring Training Programme at no cost.
  • How long will I Mentor for?
    The contract with each Veteran (mentee) is for one year, after which a review of progress is carried out. Mentors and their Veterans meet a minimum of 4 times a year, with weekly mentoring sessions being carried out using online platforms. If the mentee has achieved their aims, i.e found employment, entered into education or made positive changes to their lifestyle to such an extent that they no longer need Mentor support, then the contract can be terminated.
  • What training and support do I get if I become a Mentor?
    There is an initial training programme, and when that is completed and you have been given a mentee, you will be supervised by a Mentoring Scheme Coordinator who is there to ensure the aims of the programme are being met, by both Mentor and Mentee
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