We believe that having a physical or learning disability shouldn’t prevent anyone from volunteering. We work in partnership with local organisations and businesses to help disabled people actively volunteer (via supported volunteering if necessary) and contribute to their community. We offer support placements in many different work environments such as retail, gardening, and hospitals.
We also run flexible training and skills courses, that focus on skills such as socialising, travelling independently, keeping healthy and safe, and many more. Our programmes help to improve social and employability skills, help participants gain confidence and ultimately change lives.
We firmly believe that having a disability should not be a barrier to participating in sport and leading a healthy and active lifestyle. We support the English Federation of Disability Sport #TogetherWeWill campaign and are working with EFDS later this year to deliver Get Out Get Active – an exciting new initiative to boost activity numbers of people with disability getting active in their community.
Volunteering Matters are active members of the Disability Action Alliance a cross sector network of organisations committed to making a positive difference to the lives of disabled people. Alongside DRUK (Disability Rights UK), we chair the Volunteering sub-group of the Alliance – a group of members working together to make volunteering accessible for disabled people. In 2014 we launched the Volunteer Charter which sets out the core principles that the group believe organisations should adopt when recruiting and working with volunteers that are disabled people. The Charter already has over 120 organisations pledged to it.
The SAFE (‘Sexual Awareness for Everyone’) project running across Gwent will help improve the personal safety and good sexual health of young women (aged 16 to 35) with learning difficulties through peer led workshops, one to one peer support and through the production and distribution of a SAFE card.
Get Out Get Active (GOGA) is an exciting new programme that supports disabled and non-disabled people to enjoy being active together. Funded by Spirit of 2012, the programme is focused on getting some of the UK’s least active people moving more through fun and inclusive activities.
Newport Support Partnership is working with local partners to provide help for isolated people and carers living in the Newport area - specifically in this role, to befriend isolated members of the community.
Active Volunteering Barnet is a project which empowers adult volunteers with a learning disability, physical disability, sensory impairment or long term physical or mental health condition to engage in volunteering roles.
Many people rely on our volunteer drivers to help them do everyday things that most of us take for granted. A simple trip to the shops can be complicated, if not impossible, for some people without the support of a volunteer driver.
Volunteers have the opportunity to get creative and transform green spaces into fresh, colourful, blooming gadrens. This is a fantasic way to support and befriend local residents who are no longer able to manage their own gardens.
Disabled volunteers have the chance to capitalise on their skills, interests, and goals for the future. We work in partnership with local organisations and businesses to provide volunteer placements in diverse work environments such as retail, gardening and hospitals.
"His confidence and abilities grew more with each visit and he showed a keen interest in learning new things. He soon started to use his own initiative, and towards the end of his placement he really seemed to enjoy himself."
In general those who could benefit most from volunteering are the least likely to be able to take part in it. This paper from Volunteering Matters looks at what organisations can do to start addressing the equity issues in volunteering.
Seven volunteers from Volunteering Matters attended the Queen’s Garden Party at Holyrood Palace on the 4th of July 2017 as a gesture of thanks for their commitment to their roles supporting vulnerable people in the community.
In 2015, #GivingTuesday broke the world record for the highest amount of money donated online in a 24 hour period. We think this is brilliant – but #GivingTuesday shouldn’t just be about giving money so we are asking our supporters to donate the gift of time by volunteering in their communities.
Volunteering Matters launched work placements throughout the UK, designed to inspire young people with physical and learning disabilities into work and tackle misconceptions about hiring disabled employees.
Worries of continued austerity, calling for the next government to acknowledge the value of the volunteering sector given its critical role in helping to promote and sustain the well-being of individuals and communities.
In this blog post we’re looking at the creative marketing tips that we’ve been sharing - you might find something new or different you could consider applying to your volunteer recruitment and marketing!
Chief Executive, Oonagh Aitken talks about barriers to volunteering and reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that everyone has the chance to transform their lives and the lives of others through the power of volunteering.
Our full-time volunteers have been supporting people living with a learning disability in Stratford-upon-Avon for 10 years. Our Regional Volunteer Manager Jenny Szewiel spoke to Heart of England Mencap Manager John Morton to find out more…
This summer, we asked our volunteers, why they volunteer, what they think about the training and support we offer, and what benefits they have gained from the experience. Here, Oonagh discusses the results.
Supporting disabled people to live happier, healthier and more meaningful lives is very important to us at Volunteering Matters. We spoke to Jemma Mindham, Business Development Manager for our disability projects, to find out more.
The Nuffield Trust recently published a key report, entitled ‘Harnessing social action to support older people’, to present the findings of their evaluation of seven social action projects funded by the Reducing Winter Pressures Fund.