Supporting volunteers in West Lincolnshire
Voluntary Centre Services (VCS) supports volunteers and community organisations across West Lincolnshire. As well as operating accredited Volunteer Centres in Lincoln, Gainsborough and Sleaford, they help anyone wishing to set up their own voluntary group, offer advice on securing funding and also provide individuals with access to news and networks in the voluntary and community sector.
Their project, supported by People's Postcode Trust, sought to address the need for the development of residents’ life skills in a young person’s acute mental health unit. To do this, VCS aimed to introduce the residents to volunteering and make them aware of the benefits it can bring, both personally and professionally. The project started by running group sessions and presenting young people with the voluntary opportunities available to them. From this, 53 young people opted to participate and went on to have 1-to -1 sessions to assess what type of work they were interested in and any individual support that they would require.
All participants were then accompanied on “micro-volunteering” trips to a local care home for older people. They took part in activities including socialising on a buddy scheme, nail painting, bingo sessions, crafts and a memory box activity. Both the care home and the acute mental health unit have developed a strong connection through the project and are now planning similar events for the future. The young people have all reported positive outcomes after having volunteered here and are being directed towards further training and, if possible, employment.