People volunteer for personal reasons and these can differ from person to person. Some people volunteer for social reasons and others want to learn new skills and get work experience. The one thing that all volunteers have in common is the wonderful warm feeling they get from helping others.

Workways+ helps people with volunteering and they have a whole range of opportunities available. Workways+ can also help with getting the online training that may be needed to carry out a volunteering role. In most cases, Workways+ can pay for the training and certificates.

One volunteer supported by Workways+ is Ceredigion resident Ashley Robinson. Alison Ellis-Jones, a Workways+ mentor has also volunteered to help vulnerable people and demonstrates that even people in full time employment might be able to volunteer in their spare time.

Following childhood illness, Ashley was left with damage to his physical and mental abilities, along with severe dyslexia, and verbal dyspraxia. This has affected his confidence with finding employment and social situations. Workways+ assigned Ashley a dedicated mentor to support him one to one. Wendy Fitzpatrick, Ashley’s mentor, identified that he had an interest in gardening. Wendy worked with Ashley to build his confidence then helped to place him volunteering with ‘Denmark Farm Conservation Centre’, where he would be able to pursue his interest in gardening and other outdoor work. Ashley was a success and Workways+ is now seeking additional volunteering opportunities for him.

Ashley said, “Volunteering has helped me learn skills and introduced me to new people. Wendy, my Workways+ mentor has been supportive and has not pressured me into anything I did not want. I would recommend Workways+.”

Alison, who is a Workways+ Mentor, started volunteering in response to the challenges presented by Covid 19. At this unprecedented time of social isolation, Alison realised that there were vulnerable people in her community. These people would find it difficult to comply with social distancing guidelines and carry out normal tasks like grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions.

The Ceredigion Workways+ team work closely with Mirus Wales, a social enterprise dedicated to supported living. Alison felt compelled to help and in her own time has been shopping for groceries for six of the residents within a Mirus Wales supported house.

Alison said, “Being able to help vulnerable people at this time of need has been very rewarding. I was even nominated for a local volunteering award and I won! I would recommend volunteering to anyone that could help.”

Workways+ helps people with volunteering, online skills training, work experience and finding a job. All the support is delivered over the phone. Workways+ in Ceredigion is delivered by officers employed by Ceredigion Council and is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.

For support from the Workways+ Ceredigion team please phone 01545 574193 or to find your local office here.