Paul’s Place wins coveted funding from Global’s Make Some Noise

Paul’s Place aims to upskill and build Members’ confidence through a brand-new in-house volunteering programme.

Many of the people we support have skills and knowledge that they can use to give back to the community and gain vital work experience through volunteering. Yet, many volunteer opportunities are not fully accessible outside of our facility. This programme is tailored to the people we support, in order to help those who are struggling to come to terms with a disability, those experiencing isolation and those wanting to build their self-confidence.

Inspiring the project is current member (service user), Andy Batten, who wanted to do more than socialise.  Andy became disabled later in life. It was difficult having to leave a career he loved and the uncertainty of what he was able to do as a disabled adult was having a negative effect on his mental health. One of our aims is to empower disabled adults, so when we found out Andy was a builder by trade, we offered him the chance to use those skills around the day facility. Some light maintenance and DIY work helped a former builder, use his skills again. Andy also runs regular woodwork and archery skill sessions for other members at Paul’s Place.

“It’s something that keeps me alive. The accident made me feel useless. Paul’s Place is a lifeline for me. I now feel useful and enjoy being here. Sometimes people think I’m just another member on the days I am in. It sometimes surprises them to learn I’m volunteering that day. It’s changing people’s perceptions.”

Paul’s Place quickly saw that many more could benefit from opportunities like this. For many of the people we support, entering the workforce is not possible. Still, volunteering is a great way to learn new skills and provide a weekly routine and social opportunities. For those who are able to enter the workforce, learning valuable skills with this in-house volunteering programme will give them the right start to hopefully continue to do more outside of Paul’s Place.

“We are honoured to have been chosen by Global’s Make Some Noise and look forward to being able to share more stories of the disabled adults taking part in the project. We want to show what people are capable of when given the right opportunities, as well as removing preconceptions some may have about what a disabled life could be.” Shares  Kayley Waller, Fundraising and Communications Manager, Paul’s Place.

This project is set to start in April 2024. In the meantime, the charity is focusing on developing an advisory group that acts as a bridge between staff and members. Cleverly titled the “What Matters?” group, this is a platform for people to collaborate on a peer-led basis.