Volunteering For All is a new piloting project that aims to empower homeless people to turn their lives around through volunteering in short-term placements that reflect their interests. The programme involves structured training and one to one mentor support.
This is the first volunteering scheme specially adapted for homeless people and vulnerable groups in the Kingston area.
The project is being co-ordinated by YMCA London South West in partnership with Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH), Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Job Centre Kingston and the Royal Borough of Kingston.
Background for the project
When consulted about their experience with volunteering, some homeless people communicated a lack of access to a diverse range of volunteering opportunities. They also expressed an interest in volunteering with local businesses and organisations in the Kingston area.
In response to this consultation, YMCA LSW and partners are developing a bespoke pilot project designed to help them access a wide range of volunteering opportunities as well as offer training and support during every stage of the process.
Seeks partnering businesses and organisations
Crucial to the scheme being a success, however, is the support from local organisations, businesses and charities. We encourage small and big businesses and organisations to get involved by taking on a volunteer.
There are several benefits to offering a volunteer position to a homeless person, some being that they are very willing to learn and that they will give their time for free; that they can become possible employees in the future and that by getting involved, your business will be part of a project that promotes community cohesion and meets your Corporate Social Responsibility targets, not to mention that you will be developing new talent in the sector.
Partnering businesses and organisations are asked to commit to an initial meeting with the volunteer, which if a success, will be followed by a 15 hour placement spread over 2 weeks (4 days in total).
We also ask that the partnering businesses and organisations provide supervision and on-the-job training and support for the volunteer, and that they provide some feedback at the end of the placement.
A different perspective on homelessness
Homeless people often have a lot more to bring to the table than what is generally perceived. They can have amazing problems solving skills and resilience and are often very adaptable and can pick themselves up from disappointments, traits which are useful in any work environment.
Part of the aim of the project is to provide employers and the public with a different perspective on homelessness.
By opening up their workplace to a homeless volunteer, local organisations and businesses can learn something about what causes a person to become homeless.
To get involved or for further information, please contact Volunteering for All Co-ordinator Katherine Moore:
T: 0208 339 4638
M: 07826 944272