Touchstone – International Volunteers Day: 5th December
The Touchstone Volunteers Project is very open, diverse and service user (SU) friendly. Not only do our SU benefit from the contributions of volunteers, but some also take on the role themselves. Volunteers have the opportunity to volunteer in a number of roles across Touchstone and with partner organisations. Some of our volunteers are befrienders for SU’s. This has resulted in SU’s reporting an increase in attending social activities, a reduction in isolation, feeling confident and independent, able to manage own mental health difficulties and gaining a listening ear.
Touchstone ranked at #1 again this year in the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List for the Third consecutive year!
Within the last year:
- 110 volunteers have been recruited. More than half of applicants had never volunteered before and many did not feel anyone would allow them to volunteer; a few had previously had their applications rejected by other organisations.
- Volunteers have contributed to a total of 5800 hours of volunteer time to Touchstone and its partner organisations.
- Volunteers have reported an increase in confidence and self esteem, many voluntarily took part in and spoke to an external assessor about the positive experience received and enabled the organisation to achieve ‘Investing in Volunteers’ award.
- 2 Volunteers have taken a key role in delivering certain aspects of the volunteer training programme to new volunteers.
- 12 volunteers have secured employment opportunities which have included roles within NHS Leeds, Dial House, PAFRAS, Community links, 02, Royal bank of Scotland, Argos, Leeds Met, Poundland, H&M and Mencap.
- 14 have been successful in volunteering with other agencies.
- 17 have Progressed on to further and higher educational courses which have included hair and beauty, I.T, ESOL, Access course in social science, Counselling and massage
- 3 volunteers were accepted on to various training courses, 2 have gone travelling around Europe and Africa and 1 has set up his own business.
Volunteers have said:
“The best part of volunteering is how it made me feel about myself”
“I have enjoyed meeting new people and being involved and have made many new friend I was provided assistance with my own support and language needs”
“Volunteering has opened up many doors for me; I no longer stay in bed but have something to look forward to”
“I spoke about my experience as a volunteer, the interpersonal skills that I had gained that’s why I got the job”
“I feel like a new person, I left school with no qualifications but have gained so much experience and learnt new skills”
“The training was extremely useful; I have applied so many aspects to my own life and am able to manage my depression”
‘Volunteering has been a positive experience for me and helped me to develop my confidence and self esteem. I now have a sense of purpose after years of feeling low and dissatisfied.’
“When I was ill I wanted someone to help me. Now I am helping others and feel great”
“I am so glad to Volunteer with Touchstone I really enjoy giving my time to support with language needs it has helped me to build my confidence and develop new skills and experience, thank you Touchstone”
See below to read some recent volunteer case studies:
Source – Touchstone Support . org . uk