October/November 2018 – Business As Usual

Six new volunteers were recruited during the months of October and November. Twigs and Spokes have benefited greatly from the number of volunteers. With the supported volunteers, at this time, often selecting Spokes as their preferred project to learn new skills. We carried out some collaborative work with the local Wyre Forest School (SEN) providing opportunities for the pupils and the school’s career strategy. The pupils integrated with staff and other volunteers within the Foundation and participating productively in the projects. Some supported volunteers were very keen and proud to show the skills and knowledge that they have acquired to the pupils. The pupils went on to raise £287 whi

July/August/September 2018 – Schools and Young people in Transition.

Volunteers from NCS (local schools) gave inordinate amounts of their time volunteering through the summer. IGS/Specsavers hosted their annual staff quiz with the Emily Jordan Foundation being named as their nominated charity. Staff kindly donated their time to volunteer and to raise money to support the charity. At Spokes supported volunteers are being trained and are working towards a formal bike technician accreditation. They all have individual learning journeys. More job fairs and Volunteer events were attended as the project continue to attract and recruit volunteers. https://www.theemilyjordanfoundation.org.uk/lottery-project

April/May/June 2018 – Assessing the Impact of Volunteering

Cycle club started up again with more people taking part this year as the group was extended to include families of people with disabilities. It offers parents, and siblings the opportunity to participate either as a family or individually. In some weeks there have been more than 22 people out on the cycle track in Stourport. Five engineers from Zurich Insurance volunteered on “A day-to-make-a-difference” and were helped by supported volunteers and trainees to build a sun shelter at Twigs. The Project Manager Andrew went on a course hosted by the NCVO, which worked through the toolkit of how to Assess the Impact of Volunteers. The Foundation ran a “Volunteers Day” to say thank you to every

January/February/March 2018 – Meaningful Activities

Supported Volunteers experience what it is like to be in the workplace. It provides the opportunity for them to learn work place rules in a safe environment. Lead Volunteers support the “bank workers” (who have learning disabilities) to fulfil an external grounds maintenance contract at Fine Point Way, Business Park. On-going meetings with Volunteers take place to review and to see if they are getting the most out of time whilst volunteering, to see if they are enjoying the time they spend within the Reaching Out project and how its making a difference to them. Seven new volunteers started with the project in this first quarter and are already gaining value from being in the project. Two v

November/December 2017 – Making a Difference

Six IGS/Specsavers staff spent “A day-to-make-a-difference” supporting volunteers at Spokes in November and a few members of Interserve have taken up volunteering with us on a more casual basis. Groups like this really do contribute to the Foundation’s aims and to the specific aims of this project. We have seen first hand the benefits it has made to a persons social capital, helping them to get more involved within their local communities. We have created a set of case studies that demonstrates the benefits of the project, like people meeting up and going out together socially. See our “What People Say page”. The project manager and CEO attended a Disability Confident event hosted by Fusio

August/September/October 2017 – Making Progress

Six new volunteers started to offer their time on a regular basis. Lloyds Bank staff donated their time to work alongside the trainees and the supported volunteers. A wonderful day-to-make-a-difference was had; they split in to two groups, they built a sales display table and maintained the flowerbeds in Brinton Park sensory garden. Extended contact with other local organisations and community groups continued to maintain the Reaching Out project’s profile. One supported volunteer felt they had gained so much from the project that they felt sufficiently confident to move on into paid employment. What a great success!! https://www.theemilyjordanfoundation.org.uk/lottery-projec

June/July 2017 – More Volunteering Opportunities and Events

A Volunteer’s day was held at Twigs to encourage new and existing volunteers to mingle, get to know each other a bit more and learn more about what we have to offer. It was deemed a great success! We had a stand at CAMRA’s annual event in Kidderminster and were able to meet many interested people as well as distributing flyers. The official launch of the Reaching Out project was held with an amazing array of people attending including national and local politicians, councillors, representatives from companies, agencies and volunteers. The Project Manager and staff attended the local university to take part in a Dragon’s Den with Students interested in volunteering as part of NCS, Job Centr

April /May 2017 – Networking:

A stand was taken at the Bewdley Town Showcase event allowing the “Reaching Out” project to be promoted. It led to visits by potential Lead Volunteers to join the Foundation’s Horticultural Project based on the corner of Brinton Park, Kidderminster. Visits by Andrew to other agencies, eg Our Way Advocacy where people could self-refer to the project. One person started with the Reaching Out project a couple of weeks later, they wanted to learn new skills growing plants. The Manager at Twigs has some great programmes for the supported volunteers. Meetings with and presentations to were given to other charities, local companies such as, Monosol, Lloyds Bank, Lens-on-Line and small community gr

March 2017 – First Supported Volunteer starts:

The approach used at the Foundation is to match the skill set and/or their aspirations of the volunteers to the services offered i.e. what they expect to get out of volunteering to the needs of the organisation or the needs of the supported volunteer. People are recruited to undertake specific roles as this makes the experience more fulfilling. The first supported volunteer started this month and has been matched to Spokes to learn the process of dismantling and re-building bikes. A little un-confident to begin with, but after a few weeks he has settled in well. “The people here are lovely, they take their time with me; I think I’m going to like it here” and “I love working with Vicky, she

Meeting the agencies who will assist with new referrals:

Andrew described his role, as “this is definitely not a desk job”, contact was made with key organisations with whom people with disabilities may have regular contact with. Perseverance and his experience of networking paid dividends and strong relationship were formed with the Job Centre (thanks Steve), the WCC Community Learning Disability Team, NHS Re-enablement team (they are so committed), WCC Connect (the biscuits are lovely), Wyre Forest District Council (great work Dale). The initial task this month was to recruit Lead Volunteers to help support those who will benefit from the project. More visits and promotional work was shared Bewdley Rotary Club, the local Horticultural Society a

Jan 2017 – Getting Started:

Andrew Allan joined the Foundation as the “Reaching Out Project Manager “. He has a background is engineering, shipping and sales; a very diverse and transferrable skill set that will enhance the work of the Foundation and help to deliver the aims of the project. His first tasks were to understand how the Foundation supports people with learning disabilities and where we fit as a specialist service provider within the Wyre Forest District of Kidderminster. Andrew, supported by his colleagues formed a plan covering marketing, recruiting, networking, recording, training and a method of measuring the delivery outcomes of the project and those of the individuals. Andrew spent many weeks visiting

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