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It’s National Volunteers’ Week in the UK so we celebrating volunteers and volunteering.

At Richardson Care, we aim to enable our service users to fulfil their potential and live happy and active lives. An important part of this has always been to enable engagement in community activities as much as possible, and doing voluntary work has many benefits to both the volunteer and the organisation.

Volunteering is a really good way to develop skills, meet new people and engage in community activities, and it’s particularly beneficial to some of our service users who are recovering from brain injury.

All service users who take part in volunteering are supported by Activity Support Workers from Richardson Care during their sessions, as well as volunteer co-ordinators from the organisations for whom they volunteer.

It forms part of an individuals’ occupational therapy, which is led by Specialist Neurological Occupational Therapist, Heather Bushell, and implemented by Activity Support Workers every day. We will be returning to this topic in more detail in a future blog.

Occupational roles

Some of our service users volunteer for various organisations: These include working in a library – sorting books and putting them back on the shelves, or working in a charity shop. A couple of guys also volunteer at Spencer Contact in Northampton where they clean and restore furniture, which is then delivered to people in need. In addition, some of the guys volunteer at different gardening or ground work projects, which they love.

Ann-Marie volunteers at a gardening project as well as sorting books in a library. Recently, the Library Manager said: “It has been a real pleasure in working with Ann-Marie and the bond she has developed with her mentor, she has really started to come out of her shell, which is really pleasing to see.”

In addition, Ann-Marie recently reflected: “I had such a remarkable day, working with my colleagues.”

Well-being benefits of volunteering

There are so many well-being benefits of volunteering:

  • It helps individuals to re-build their self-identity and rediscover their strengths and capabilities
  • It can improve self-esteem and confidence
  • Regular attendance at the same times each week builds up structure and routines, increasing individuals’ tolerance.
  • It increases engagement in community activities
  • Volunteering enables people to build working relationships
  • It provides a sense of fulfilment and purpose
  • It enables people to follow their interests
  • Volunteering helps to develop skills – they may be specific skills such as gardening or furniture restoration, or life skills such as organisational skills, planning and communication.
  • Volunteering can also lead to opportunities in paid employment

Thank you to all the volunteers

We would also like to thank the thousands of volunteers throughout the country who help to enhance the lives of people with learning disabilities or acquired brain injury. Without them, it would not be possible to campaign for their rights or to provide so many varied services and activities. For example, some organisations that are close to our hearts are:  Headway  – a vital resource for many people with acquired brain injuries and their families; Rockin Roadrunner – a nightclub run with and for adults with disabilities, and Northampton Sailability,  which provides sailing opportunities for people with disabilities.

A shout out for Headway Northampton

Headway Northampton needs to find new premises and needs to raise £100,000 to help secure its future. You can find out more and donate here

Headway – Approved Care Provider

Richardson Care, The Richardson Mews, Kingsland Gardens, Northampton NN2 7PW

T: 01604 791266.
E: welcome@richardsoncares.co.uk.

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