Celebrating our volunteers on International Volunteer Day

Active Prospects is grateful for the help and assistance it receives from its volunteers and supported volunteers, and there’s no better day to acknowledge the contribution they make than on International Volunteer Day!

Our charity shop in Horley offers supported volunteer opportunities for people we support to enable them to gain skills for employment.  We have ten supported volunteers who are all developing skills and gaining in confidence.

Harvey* volunteers in the shop on a Monday.  He does all the key jobs in the shop and also assists the Shop Manager to do the banking.  He is really supportive of our other volunteers and interns, patiently training and supervising them until they grow in confidence.  Harvey used to benefit from support from our Community Prospects team, but partly thanks to the self-confidence he has gained through his role in the shop he has no longer feels he needs paid support.  (*not his real name)

Jane (pictured top) is visually impaired yet is able to carry out all the key roles in the shop including assessing the quality of clothes.  She works on a Tuesday and is a great support to the Charity Shop Assistant who runs the shop on the Manager’s day off.  She has a special gadget which has helped us to overlay the keys on the tills with Braille so that she can serve customers.

Rosemary started at the charity shop as a community volunteer in June 2017. She had been in contact with a number of people supported by Active Prospects whilst at her previous employer, and was particularly keen to volunteer somewhere where she could work with those who need a little extra help, and make a difference to their lives. Rosemary says she loves working in the charity shop and feeling part of the community, whilst giving back to the community at the same time. She says she finds volunteering extremely rewarding and that the time flies when she is in the shop! Rosemary has also taken on a supporting role in helping to raise the profile of Active Prospects and the charity shop, as well as encouraging donations to the shop, on social media and is doing a great job.

Our volunteers aren’t limited to our charity shop, however. Jane Ellis, has been volunteering with Active Prospects since 2016. She says: “My role is as ‘the treat lady’, basically I get to do fun things like swimming, shopping, clearing out a greenhouse, going to the cafe for a cuppa or on a trip to a museum. Everything is coordinated at head office and I have had as much help and support from the team as I wanted. What do I get out of this? Well, if I am honest at times I have been slightly out of my comfort zone but it is so nice to go home at the end of a day and think that, actually, I’ve had a really nice time and hopefully I have helped someone else have a good day too. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting lots of different people and everyone (both clients and support workers) have been friendly and supportive of my attempts to make a success of my ‘new role in life’.

If you think you’d be interested in volunteering at Active Prospects – either as a care or support buddy, an activities buddy, or in the charity shop – please contact sue.stockman@activeprospects.org.uk or call 01293 825824 to have an informal chat.

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