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Volunteering

At Mencap in Kirklees we have a lot of different ways that people can volunteer to help people with a learning disability.

The term Learning disability covers a wide range of abilities and conditions. Some people struggle with reading and writing. Others have higher levels of disability and may not be able to speak or may need help with all parts of their life.

We aim to make sure that people with a learning disability have enjoyable lives with the same kind of chances as people without a disability.

Volunteers need to be at least 16 years of age. They would enjoy having fun and chatting to people and would be keen to help other people have fun. They would also be sensible enough to let people do what they want whilst keeping an eye on them to make sure that they stay safe.

We have quite a few different services, read more below.

The Buddy scheme is a befriending service where each volunteer is matched up with a person with a learning disability. We have a long waiting list of people who would really like a Buddy. The idea is that the Buddies meet up regularly to do things that the person with a learning disability wants to do.

Ideally, people would be able to meet up for at least an hour once a week but we understand that some people won’t be able to volunteer that much time and any time you can give would be appreciated.

For the buddy scheme, we would also like people who could commit to volunteering for a bit longer. People get used to meeting up with someone and we don’t want them to have to keep starting and stopping. If you think you could volunteer for 6 months then that would be good but don’t worry if you end up not being able to.

We think these are the most fun ways to volunteer. We meet up in groups to go out to regular leisure places. We visit pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, nightclubs, the bowling alley and any other event or thing we can think of. The groups have up to seven people in and you would always be with a member of staff.

The groups normally last for about 2 and a half hours and run once a week. You could let us know that you would usually be available most weeks, once a fortnight or less frequently, perhaps once a month.

We are going to be starting groups soon for people who share similar interests. If you have any particular interests or hobbies you might be exactly who we are looking for.

We have clubs that meet at Waverley Hall on a Monday and a Wednesday night from 6.15pm to 8.45pm. We could really do with some new volunteers for these clubs. Volunteering at them is pretty similar to volunteering at the day centres but the Wednesday club night always ends with a disco.

Waverley Hall and Branches are two of our day centres. 18 to 40 people attend each day and they have a wide range of abilities. Sometimes people stay at the centre to take part in the activities they have chosen. Examples are making cards, painting, using the computers, drumming, tai chi, dance and drama. At other times they go out with staff for trips to museums and parks, to go swimming, horse riding and to any other places they have chosen.

Your role there would be to get involved in the activities and to chat to lots of people. We are also always looking for people who do interesting things. In the past, people have put on drama shows, music performances and ran art groups.

If you wanted to come for a one-off performance, maybe to sing or play the guitar, that would be great. You normally wouldn’t need all the checks and training other volunteers need because we will supervise you whilst you were there.

We have three residential homes. Volunteering in them would mean helping out around the house, socialising with the people who live there and generally being friendly and useful. Two of the homes are in Huddersfield and one is a bit larger and is in Ravensthorpe. The homes are very flexible when it comes to volunteers. Some people might do an odd hour now and again, some people visit more regularly.

We are always looking for people who would like to help out with the events we organise and with our varied fundraising activities. In the past, we have held barn dances, valentine’s discos and taken part in sponsored walks and runs. You could offer to help out every now and again or if you would like to be more involved you would be welcome to join us on our Events and Fundraising Committee.

When: Weekends away once a month and a two-hour meeting twice a week

What: More2do offers adult with a mild learning disability or autism the opportunity to participate in fun monthly weekend breaks. We are looking for volunteers to come along to the weekend trips and join in the activities and challenges.

Who: We are looking for volunteers who are reasonably fit and active and like to have and create fun. They need to be able to build relationships whilst maintaining professional boundaries and being mindful of health and safety concerns. Attending both the weekend and the weekly sessions is not compulsory.

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