On 14th September, we are launching a new project called Active Volunteering Hackney. The project offers supported volunteering opportunities for people living with a disability, whether that be autism, a learning disability or a physical disability.

Communications Manager Kate Bermingham spoke to Project Officer Gavin Stewart to find out more:

Kate: What can disabled people in Hackney gain from volunteering?

Gavin: There is so much to be gained from volunteering in Hackney. It is a chance for disabled people to get in touch with their community, and develop new and existing skills that will boost their chances of getting paid employment. Volunteers will have the opportunity to take part in an ‘Introduction to Volunteering’ short course, which will help them feel more confident about volunteering. They will also have the chance to attend regular social events where they can share experiences and meet new friends.

Kate: How will the volunteers be supported in their role?

Gavin: Our volunteers will be supported by a community mentor who will help them work towards their goals and aspirations, offer practical support and help them take steps towards independence. Whether our volunteers have barriers to overcome, need a confidence boost or just a push in the right direction, we support them every step of the way.

Kate: What kind of activities and projects can the volunteers take part in?

Gavin: Volunteers can take part in a variety of placements depending on what they want to do. We will spend the time getting to know the volunteers in order to find a suitable placement for them. They can get involved in retail, gardening, hospitality, outreach work, administration and much more!

Kate: What do you require from the volunteers – are there any pre-requisites? Do they need to commit to volunteering for a certain amount of time?

Gavin: Our project is for people with learning disabilities/and or on the autistic spectrum. They must be over the age of 18 and live in the London borough of Hackney. We ask our volunteers to be able to commit an hour a week of their time.

Kate: How can potential volunteers find out more about this project?

Gavin: You can find out about our new Active Volunteering project by attending the launch on the 14th September from 2 -4pm at the Kingsland Hub.

Full address: Peter Bedford Housing, 242 Kingsland Rd, London E8 4DG. Alternatively, we have details about the project on the website where you can find my contact details: https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/project/active-volunteering-hackney/