The Gloucester Inclusion hub at the Friends Meeting House, Greyfriars is a safe space where people with disabilities and mental ill health can socialise, have their voices heard and engage in a range of meaningful activities. It is run by Inclusion Gloucestershire and there are similar hubs right across the county.
At the inclusion hubs we use a volunteer Bridge Builder approach to enable people with disabilities or mental ill health to access community activities such as courses or events.
Bridge Builder volunteers are there to help group activities get established, so they run smoothly and all participants feel safe and confident attending them. A Bridge Builder will attend an activity for the first couple of sessions with the ultimate aim of stepping back when the group has got to the stage where they can run and manage things on their own. Bridge Builders also provide support to individuals so they feel confident with things like transport routes and finding the venue and getting settled into the group. They may also encourage the group to organise its own activities and events beyond the group’s initial plans, including early evening social activities. You will develop positive interactions with members recognising individual paces and methods of developing confidence and engagement.
The Gloucester Inclusion Hub is open 11am – 3pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, although if you are supporting extra early evening social activities you may be asked to volunteer outside of those times. Volunteers are asked to commit at least 12 hours a month, usually one shift a week which will be about three hours. We also have a planned training and catch up session with our volunteers about every six weeks which you would also need to attend. We will also have training courses on things like Safeguarding and Health & Safety that you will need to attend.
Volunteers needs to be aged over 18 years but there is no upper limit. You will also need to be DBS checked, although we can help you gain this if you do not hold it already. We are keen to make this role accessible by as many people as possible. The Friends Meeting House has wheelchair access and a hearing loop and is located near car parks and public transport hubs. If you have any particular access needs do not hesitate to get in contact with us to discuss them. I can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Why get involved?
This is a fantastic volunteer opportunity for those that want to gain experience of working with a diverse group of people including those that have learning or physical disabilities or mental ill health. Equally, for those that already have experience of working in an inclusive way, it is a great way to be able to share your experiences and practices.
Such skills may be important for CV building, or simply to gain confidence before a return to the work place or after life changing events. It is also a fantastically sociable role. You’ll meet lots of new people and form strong friendships with other volunteers who you will have regular contact with.
Inclusion Gloucestershire is also able to pay out of pocket travel expenses for your volunteering and training.
How to get involved?
- Sign into your account or sign up to Volunteer Makers.
- Accept the challenge
- Await a response from Inclusion Gloucestershire with more information
- Customer Service
- Event Management
- Event Stewarding
- Project Management
- Working independently
- Working with Young People
- Community Work
- Computers and Technology
- Event & Project Management
- Events and Programming
- Learning and Education
- Visitor Service/ Front of House