Alexander is spending more time with others, doing more activities and going to more places - and it's having a real positive impact on his life!
Working and volunteering has a huge impact on people; they gain independence, belonging, new skills and fulfilment in life. It’s not just the people who work and volunteer that benefit, organisations also benefit from the different perspectives a more diverse workforce offers.
In Cardiff, many of the people we support work or volunteer, including Steph, who volunteers at a tea room in Canton.
Steph has built good working relationships with regular customers and staff members, which has given her more confidence. Her colleagues gave her lots of positive reinforcement which empowered her to sign up to an Adult Education course at the SEND Academy where she is currently learning more work based skills.
Indepedent Catrin was keen to find employment, so she studied at Bridgend College to gain workplace skills and qualifications.
Catrin is a caring person, so mirus staff members suggested that a job in the NHS could be the perfect opportunity for her to help people. Catrin’s first language is Welsh, and they knew that this would this set her apart from other applicants.
Catrin’s application was successful and she began her new position supported by a supervisor who taught her everything she needed to know. Now that she’s settled in Catrin is a confident member of the team, and knows that her skills are valued by her employer and colleagues.
Claire has volunteered at the RSPCA charity shop for many years. She believes that volunteering has improved her life, given her confidence in her abilities, and has given her the opportunity to build relationships. Claire said her colleagues have become like friends, and she loves going to work because she gets to spend time with them.
RSPCA staff said that Claire is a pleasure to work with and that they have loved watching Claire learn new skills and develop as a person and as part of the team. Claire’s mum Pam feels that volunteering has given Claire a purpose and has improved her mobility and her ability to build relationships with others and her local community.
Laura and Volunteer Coordinator Claire run Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe together and decided to offer Sammit and Fiona the opportunity to join the team.
Together they staff the cafe and provide hot drinks and snacks to churches, community centres and emergency services. The group have met people from lots of different backgrounds, which has helped them to grow their confidence.
Laura has taken her learning a step further, and has studied workplace skills which has improved her numeracy, literacy and organisational skills.
Miss Tilley’s Community Cafe won the Volunteer Group of the Year Award from Cardiff Third Sector Council (C3SC).
Annie has previously volunteered, but was keen to find paid employment so that she could make her own money and be more independent.
When Annie was told about the work mirus does she thought that it would be a great place to work, so she applied for a part-time position through Elite Supported Employment.
Annie’s application was successful, and she now works in the mirus Cardiff office as part of the Admin Team and receives support from an Elite Job Coach. Before she started, Annie said that she was nervous but excited to put the skills she had learned through volunteering into action.
Annie enjoys working for mirus and she said that she has felt welcomed by everyone she has met. She has gained lots of experience of working in an office, learned a wide range of new skills, and her confidence to meet new people has increased.