Buddy Bear and Friends is the pioneering programme of award-winning social enterprise Lead a Bright Future. Popular children's superhero Buddy Bear supports children to discover their inner superhero and the greatest superpower of all, KINDNESS. This fun and educational programme is nurturing the next generation to develop friendships, wellbeing and learning powers so no child faces bullying.
Fiona Ogg, (BSc Social Sciences & Health Promotion) is the co-founder and co director of Lead a Bright Future with Buddy Bear Friends. With over 20-years in the public and voluntary sector including 5 years as CEO of a charity, Fiona has pioneered successful awareness-raising and policy-influence campaigns, creating programmes for children’s protection, mental health and emotional wellbeing, and providing group and one-to-one therapeutic interventions.
"Buddy Bear Friends creates a culture of kindness which, we witness time and again, develops social capital and an enterprising spirit of giving and receiving, be it time, talent or treasure. We call this kindness currency and believe it can rebuild the fabric of society as well as having significant benefits to wellbeing. The stimulating environment of the QMU Business Innovation Zone provides the perfect base for Buddy Bear s exciting mission"
Borne out of frustration at seeing young people fall through the cracks in the system, while also recognising their untapped potential, Fiona wanted to create an enterprise that would be genuinely responsive to their needs and be led by them. Lead a Bright Future was started in July 2014 and in 2016 Fiona and co-founder Gena McMullan created the children’s superhero Buddy Bear and picture storybook with a group of vulnerable teens that wanted to prevent little ones experiencing bullying. Now evolved into a holistic fun and educational programme for schools and families nurturing children’s friendships, wellbeing and learning powers in their most formative years, Buddy Bear Friends has become the focus of all their services and activities and continues to be shaped and delivered with young people.