We caught up with Imogen and Nathan and their Support Worker, Marin, as
Happy #Pride everyone! #LGBTQ #pridecymru #pridecardiff https://t.co/0OBIaLKjVe 18 hours ago
Volunteers Week 2019
In Cardiff mirus is proud to run social groups for people with learning disabilities which have been meeting for over a decade. We get together in the evenings to have fun, meet new people and find out about things we can do in our community.
Our Cardiff social groups are open to anyone in Cardiff with a learning disability. Our team of volunteers are on hand to help out during the evenings and make sure that everyone is included and has a fantastic time. One of our members told us:
Some of our favourite things to do are going to pubs, bowling, karaoke, cinema and minigolf. The activity for each group is decided by the group themselves, so we are always looking to try new things and visit new places!
Our volunteers typically give just 2 hours per fortnight and receive fully funded training and support from our volunteer coordinator throughout their volunteering experience.
We welcome new members to our groups and are always happy to be joined by new volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer with us or join one of our groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org for info!
Laura first volunteered with mirus in 2011. After leaving Cardiff to work in Australia for 2 years, when she returned she wasted no time in reapplying.
“I have volunteered with Mirus since 2011 when I was in my second year of University. I chose to volunteer as I think it's easy to get caught up in day to day life and spending 2 hours a fortnight volunteering for Mirus is only a small amount of time out of my week but it makes a big difference. Mirus is wonderful as it gives those with disabilities the chance to socialise with a friendly familiar group of people at least once a fortnight.
I enjoy volunteering for Mirus as I love the environment that they create for the people that use the service and I can see how happy it makes people when they are listened to and given the opportunities for fun. Karaoke is definitely my favourite volunteering activity! For those with a support worker, I think it gives them the change to socialise with other adults outside of that relationship which is valuable.
Volunteering benefits me too, for example if I have had a stressful day at work, the second the group with Mirus starts it brings a smile to my face as it makes my day seeing everyone socialising and getting along.
I completed my working holiday in Australia so I had 2 years away from Mirus and the social activities groups, however I missed it so much I reapplied straight away. When I came back I was really touched to see that people remembered me and had been asking after me which is testimony to the sense of community felt through the group.”
“I volunteer because I have plenty of spare time which I would like to use for the benefit of other people as well as myself.
I like this particular scheme because I have had the opportunity to get to know new people and enjoy fun time with them. I see them as my friends and enjoy hearing what they have been up to and what is going on in their lives. They are always very welcoming and usually have plenty to say.
What stand out in my mind is going back to the group after being on holiday and having missed two meetings. I was the first volunteer to arrive and a group were already gathered at the venue. When they saw me I got such a wonderful welcome and I thought nobody else is ever this pleased to see me – it gave me quite a buzz. So I suppose I get validation from their enjoyment and warmth towards me.
Being a non productive retiree it is too easy to feel overlooked and useless and there's only so much gardening exercise and shopping you can do to fill the time.
This is one very easy and enjoyable way to counter that.”
“We learn from each other, and that’s another good thing about this project, although I do a bit of gardening, I’m not a gardener… yet together we have learned how to do things”. Bill has been volunteering with us for just over a year now, and in that time has made an incredible difference.