Volunteers have always been the lifeblood of what we offer at Reach. From our early days volunteers have helped enhance the services we offer. Building on the learning and best practice developed with the help of this funding we submitted a successful application to the National Lottery Community Fund for a major grant to develop volunteering at Reach over five years. We call this project ‘All Part of Life’.
- To increase the volunteering hours provided by local people in our centres. We aim to increase from 350 volunteering hours per week currently to 900 per week in 5 years.
- To increase volunteering opportunities for adults with learning disabilities within our centres and in the community
- To improve our recruitment, induction, training and support for volunteers, including researching and piloting best practice approaches.
- Reduced isolation and loneliness due to enhanced social connections and opportunities to have their voice heard.
- Raised aspirations for the future due to increased skills and confidence in being able to share their skills and expertise.
- A greater sense of belonging to the community through contributing to their community as active citizens.
- A greater sense of independence and autonomy with more control over their own choices.
I am passionate about the benefits of volunteering and the inclusion of people with learning disabilities within the local community.
Prior to working at Reach I spent twenty-five years working within the legal industry, initially for the Legal Services Commission (Legal Aid Board) and finally for Gowlings LLP in London. I then moved into teaching, working with vulnerable young people and people with learning disabilities.
My role involves creating and developing new and existing relationships with colleagues, clients, volunteers and organisations (both local and national) to promote and progress volunteering opportunities across Reach.
To achieve this I have been:
- Liaising with local authorities, Newark & Mansfield CVS’ to promote Reach and volunteer opportunities within Reach
- Developing relationships with local organisations keen to offer volunteering positions for Reach clients (a recent success being a Flower Pod client starting a placement at a local garden centre)
- Expanding opportunities within Brackenhurst and Nottingham Trent University via open days and student workshops
- Communicating with existing Reach volunteers and clients to ensure they are aware of volunteering roles and opportunities
- Promoting Reach at SEN schools/colleges
- Researching and collating quotations for a Reach vehicle (a further part of the Lottery Funding award)
If you are interested in volunteering within Reach or if you are in a position to offer Reach clients a volunteering opportunity, you can contact me by emailing Wayne.Wilmot@reachuk.org or give me a call on 01636 819066, I'd love to hear from you.