In 2018 we had 71 local volunteers helping us in our work. 56 of these volunteers were active in our projects and 14 helped behind the scenes. They contributed 3,108 hours over the course of the year. Our volunteers have a wide variety of life experience and skills; all are DBS checked.
Most tend to stay with ECL for a long time, building lasting relationships with members.
We train local sixth formers as volunteers. As well as successfully raising awareness amongst this generation of the problems faced by people with autism and/or a learning disability, the members themselves respond well to younger people. In the words of one student volunteer:
My favourite part of the evening is always the quiz; figuring out how to talk through a question to help someone to an answer then seeing their excitement when they figure it out is incredibly rewarding. However, I also feel I’ve learnt so much about communicating and understanding without words; one of my most memorable moments is sitting next to one woman who hadn’t spoken in all the time I’d known her but who, one evening, took it quietly in turns with me to colour in pictures that I drew for her. Moments like that are what make ECL such a special place to be.
Without this amazing commitment from members of our local community we could not continue to offer the breadth of opportunities to our members.
Being a volunteer is fun and rewarding. If you’re interested, or just want to find out more, please come along or call 01932 241988 or 07981 450320.
You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org