Best Buddies Nederland wins a Crown Apple
On Thursday 16 May 2013, Best Buddies Nederland was awarded one of the Oranje Funds' Crown Apples in the youth category. The award was presented by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima.
The Crown Apples are awarded to the best social initiatives in three categories, and winners also receive a cash prize of EUR 50,000. The jury chose Best Buddies because this organization is able to bring together young people with a mental disability from all over the country on a large scale and in a professional manner.
Rabobank Foundation, the Rabobank Group's social fund, has supported Best Buddies since it was established in 2005. Roelie van Stempvoort, Rabobank Foundation's project manager: "This friendship programme has made some fantastic social initiatives for youngsters with a mental disability possible. And for the student volunteers it is a great incentive for active citizenship. Since the start, around 1,800 buddy pairs have been formed within Best Buddies Clubs in 28 districts; local Rabobanks are also involved."
Left the team from Best Buddies The Netherlands: Tessa Erkens, sr. regio-coördinator, Marlinda Hommel, ambassadeur, Leo van Leeuwen, voorzitter bestuur.
© Oranje Fonds - Bart Homburg
Best Buddies encourages friendships between student volunteers and young people with a slight mental disability. This friendship expands the social network of the youngsters with a disability and that increases their feeling of wellbeing and prevents them becoming isolated. Each year, around 400 students volunteer as buddies for young people with a mental handicap. The Crown Apple award will enable an extra hundred friendships to be established and supervised.
Volunteers between the ages of 18 and 35 can register for the friendship programme on the Best Buddies website.
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