Inclusion Gloucestershire supports people with physical or learning disabilities or mental ill health to have bigger dreams, better lives and brighter futures.
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 in other localities in the county.
At the inclusion hubs our early evening activity co-ordinators help people plan and organise activities that they would like to do in the early evening. This could be anything from attending the cinema, going out for a meal, trying out a sport or taking a group walk or something else entirely. They also accompany the group on the activity to check that everyone can get to, find and access the venue or activity and have a good time while they are there. This allows people with disabilities or mental ill health to feel safe and secure socialising in their local community and attending activities that many of us take for granted.
Our early evening activity co-ordinators work with groups of people to help them identify activities or places that they would like to visit in an early evening (4pm – 6pm ish). They help our members find out any costs of activities, check out accessibility, make individual transport arrangements or plans and make any bookings. They will also help advertise the activity through our Facebook site and create flyers. This would all happen at our Inclusion hub in Greyfriars.
The volunteer would then join the group for their chosen activity making sure that everyone feels safe and secure and gets their transport back home. During the activity they might also help with things like making payments, ordering food or locating toilets if that was needed. Volunteers would not be providing personal care though. Trips out tend to be very much in the local area.
Some groups may identify a regular activity that they wish to access (a weekly tennis class for example.) Our volunteers would then just attend the first few sessions until everyone in the group felt happy and confident about attending. From then on, the group would then attend without their volunteer. How long this would take would vary form group to group.
The Gloucester Inclusion Hub is open 11am – 3pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so the planning for activities would take place in this time with the actual activities taking place at a mutually agreed convenient day from about 4 – 6pm
Volunteers are asked to commit at least 6 hours a month which includes the planning and organising time in the inclusion hub. We also ask that volunteers commit to organising and delivering one activity a month. 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 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. You also stretch your planning, organisational and negotiating skills.
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
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