This year Volunteering Yate has delivered 3 volunteer drop ins at the Job Centre in Yate. While most of the people who have attended have been encouraged to come by their work coaches this venue also serves as a drop in for the community.
Volunteering Yate uses a personal approach to support them on their journey of gaining employment and self-development. Volunteering is an important part of this journey, to gain new skills, confidence and experiences. We also have discussions about other services, for example referring people to the West of England employability scheme, appropriate training, courses and local wellbeing clubs and groups.
Many successful role matches have started with a conversation about the benefits of volunteering and what skills people would like to develop. Often, the roles which have the skills they need are not advertised. We research and contact groups and organisations that could potentially offer the role and benefit from volunteer support. Groups have been open to these conversations and responsive to diversifying their offer by carving up larger roles into more specific tasks or creating specific roles for that individual.
One example of this working successfully is Letty, a young woman who had been unemployed for 3 years due to mental health and social anxiety. She wanted to work in childcare but did not have any qualifications in this area and the only experience she had was within her own family. Once we had discussed a possible route to her future career I contacted local schools and preschools close to her home. I supported the primary school to create a volunteer role for her. I also gave her information and links to an introduction to child development course run by South Gloucestershire community learning. We had a few supportive conversations to help Letty understand and conquer her confidence and anxiety issues. Letty has now started the child development course and is enjoying a volunteering placement at a local primary school a few days a week.