Ricoh staff buddy up for adults with disabilities

Ricoh employees, members of Sunnyfield’s Day Options Program and their carers gathered together at Ricoh’s Head Office in Frenchs Forest to launch the Sunnyfield Buddy Program on Friday 4 November, 2011.


Ricoh’s Sunnyfield Buddy Program is designed to provide an opportunity for staff to share their interests and develop a relationship with a person Sunnyfield supports, through the local Day Options Program.

The development of this program is a natural progression of the long term partnership between Ricoh and Sunnyfield, a not-for-profit organisation that exists to enrich the lives of people with an intellectual disability.

“We believe we have a role to play by helping to create opportunities for people with disabilities.” said Pam Merlo, Quality & Environment Manager, Ricoh Australia. “Our Buddy Program is designed to do just that by providing a platform to share interests and develop friendships.”

The Buddy Program has already paired up over 10 Ricoh employees with members of the Sunnyfield Day Options Program. Each employee is partnered with a member of the Day Options Program who has a shared interest, some of which include fast cars, Elvis Presley, the Manly Sea Eagles and scrapbooking, and they spend a lunch hour, either each week or fortnight, getting to know one another.

“Many of us take for granted what it is to share a common interest and have a meaningful friendship. This is why the Buddy Program is so special for the people we support to experience a friendship outside of their family or carers. We have already seen the joy this program has brought to the people we support and we hope the experience will be just as beneficial for the employees of Ricoh and I thank them for this wonderful opportunity”, said Caroline Cuddihy, Sunnyfield’s CEO.

“Our two main goals for this program are to provide understanding and friendship to those who are supported by Sunnyfield and in the greater scheme, help break down the barriers which exist for people living with a disability through spreading awareness,” concluded Merlo.

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MEDIA CONTACT:  For further information and interviews please contact:
Melissa Apte
Marketing Manager, Ricoh Australia
0419 252 028

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