Netbuddy is full of handy tips and bright ideas from parents, carers, teachers and therapists with experience of learning disability and autism. It is a ‘by you, for you’ special needs resource, offering practical solutions to everyday issues – from brushing teeth to challenging behaviour.
There are a lot of great tips and suggestions for supporting people with special needs floating about on forums all over the internet. But how much of this information just gets lost into the Ethernet?
We wanted to collect all these ideas in one place... to create a fantastic interactive resource that would keep on growing as people contributed to it.
Netbuddy is all about pooling the vast expertise of parents, carers and learning disability professionals. It’s a place for sharing advice and ideas. A place for overcoming problems and celebrating successes within a community that understands.
What we do
Netbuddy is a free online community for anyone connected with special needs. It is a place to share practical tips and solutions for supporting people with learning disabilities and autism.
We are all about sharing information and resources, so whenever we can put people in touch with each other, we do.
Since the site launched in September 2010 it has grown and developed, and is now rich in 'user-generated content' as marketing folk like to call it. We've been busy spreading this content around to other organisations and websites, like Carers Direct, Nursing Times, Family Lives, Learning Disability Today, Enable Scotland and Time Out.
We're not interested in making a profit from any of the ideas we receive. Our aim is simply to pass them on. We're just trying to make life a bit easier for anyone who's supporting someone with learning disabilities.
For more information, please see our FAQ page
Netbuddy is run by a small but dedicated team, who we'll introduce in a moment. However the real work is done by our supporters. Netbuddy is a growing online community of parents, carers, health workers, OTs, teachers, GPs, nurses, paediatricians, information officers, support workers, grandparents, siblings ... all contributing their collective wisdom.
Netbuddy is a global collaborative effort – we receive tips and ideas from all over the UK and, indeed the world. Such is the beauty of the internet!
We are really fortunate to have a fantastic team of site champions to help make the Netbuddy forum a friendly, welcoming place for new visitors. Some are parents, some are professionals working with learning disability. All have volunteered their time to make Netbuddy a success, so we are hugely grateful to them.
We have a growing number of specialists on our Ask an expert forum, who give their time and expertise freely. They include an adult learning disability OT, a Speech & Language therapist, an Assistive Technology expert, a parenting siblings advisor and an audiologist. The expert forum is a fantastic free resource, and we are incredibly grateful to our specialists.
Deborah is one of the founders of Netbuddy and the idea for the site was originally hers. It came about when Deborah's son Zach, who has Angelman syndrome, was little. Deborah used to wish for something like Netbuddy where she could go for practical ideas and support.
Former CEO of Cosgrove Care, Linda is another founding member of Netbuddy. Linda has been instrumental in launching the site, and giving us the benefit of her huge experience of working with people with learning disabilities.
Emma is our website and community manager. With a background in journalism, she also handles our PR and media work. Emma's brother has Down's syndrome, which has fuelled a lifetime's interest in disability and carers' issues.
Kat’s our creative marketeer, responsible for devising all sorts of ways to get Netbuddy out there, reaching new people. With a background in Corporate Social Responsibility, Kat’s worked with a variety of charities from helping bereaved children to training guide dog pups.
Emma-Joy provides much-needed tech know-how. She's worked in the field of web design and development since it was just fields! As well as being a bit of a geek, Emma-Joy is a mother to three young children, the eldest having PMLD as a result of a rare chromosome disorder.
Tatjana May, LLB is General Counsel, Company Secretary and Executive Vice President of Global Legal Affairs at Shire plc. She is also Chairman of the company’s Corporate Responsibility Committee. Tatjana has been a Netbuddy trustee since the site was launched in October 2010.
Geraldine is the editor of Gransnet, the social networking website for grandparents. A writer and broadcaster, she previously worked for the Observer and the Independent on Sunday. She is the author of a memoir, The Handmade House, and a novel, The Gulf Between Us. Geraldine joined Netbuddy in January 2013.
Paul Tuhrim is the Finance Director of RH Amar & Co, and has been a Netbuddy trustee since launch. Paul is a tireless fundraiser and has completed numerous international bike rides in tandem with people with disabilities. In 2012 Paul was nominated for the Pride of Britain award.
Deborah Gundle is one of the founders of Netbuddy and has been a trustee since the launch. Ex company director and film producer, Deborah's son Zach has Angleman syndrome, and was the inspiration behind Netbuddy.
Linda Goldberg MA DipEd is the former CEO of Cosgrove Care, and one of the founders of Netbuddy. In addition to being a trustee for Netbuddy, Linda is a charity trustee for Norwood and the Judith Trust. She has been with Netbuddy since its launch in 2010.
What people are saying about Netbuddy
Thank you to @netbuddytoptips – incredibly useful to have this sort of information available! Premier Care (Plymouth) Ltd
I know it's not Charity Tuesday or Follow Friday or any of those Twitterisms but I've just discovered @netbuddytoptips and it's great! Lucy Reynolds
We are big fans of @netbuddytoptips crowdsourcing tips to support disabled people. New Think Tank
Our charity tuesday recommendation for this week is @netbuddytoptips – can't praise this site highly enough! SHARE Scotland
@netbuddytoptips great tips as ever. I recommend you to anyone with learning disabilities with a caring role to fulfill. Isobel Keogh
Your website is fantastic! As a professional working with families I am always looking for new ideas and support. I work with siblings also so the new forum is really helpful and somewhere I can direct families. Andy James, community nurse
Thank you! Netbuddy is truly a much-needed resource for us parents who have kids with special needs. Our days are just too focused on our children's needs to leave us time to research for solutions. Sharon Currie, parent
I work for the paediatric occupational therapy service at Solihull Care Trust. My colleagues and I have discovered your website and we love it! Catherine Kroon, OT
I wanted to say what a fantastic website you have. I love the tip about teeth cleaning, which can be so problematic for parents and paid carers. I've ordered samples to show people on visits. Kath Ingram, health action planner coordinator
What a brilliant idea! I wish there had been something like this when my son was younger. Carolann Bowers, parent
This website is really fab. I have been printing off bits and pieces as I read them for some of our families who do not have access to a computer. Congratulations to you all for such a useful and accessible website. Gwen Harrison, education support co-ordinator
This is such a great idea. Tapping into parent/carer hands-on experience is immensely valuable. Nobody really knows how to cope with the day to day nitty gritty unless they've experienced it personally. Patricia Myers, education officer NAS South Kent.
Netbuddy is a registered charity (charity number 1127905). We rely on fundraising contributions to meet our costs, so if you feel like putting a penny in our cap please do! Donate to Netbuddy