- Community 1 = Wednesday: 1-3 pm, weekly
- Community 2 = Early evening, weekdays
Happy Days support homeless and at-risk individuals through the provision of supported community housing, access to skills enhancement and opportunities to gain employment; nurturing them into living purposeful lives for the benefit of themselves and their community. Happy Days believe spending time with people, listening, building trusting relationships and providing opportunity to enhance skills, helps residents to gain confidence to improve their lives. Each week they deliver supported activities in the residential setting. These activities provide skills and experiences that enhance community relations and employability.
Over the last 12 months, Happy Days have increased their accommodation and now support over 17 individuals over 5 properties. Due to this, they are looking for volunteers to help run Community Living sessions that support the residents to help look after their home, gardens and engage with their community.
Details of the Project:
Community Living Sessions focus on supporting the residents to look after their home and garden. The sessions provide a welcoming, positive and safe environment and encourage our residents to work together as a team and engage with their wider community (neighbours).
In the spring/summer months, gardening and outdoor maintenance work is undertaken, encouraging the residents to participate, learn new skills and interact with the community within the street. This includes activities such as growing and maintaining vegetable/fruit plots where a variety of produce is grown and sold at the Happy Days Cafe and other produce used in ‘Cook and Eat’ sessions with the residents. Produce is also used for social events with the neighbours e.g. strawberries are grown, made into jam and used to make cream scones then shared with neighbours for an informal afternoon social get together.
In the Winter months, the focus is on indoor activities – cooking sessions including budgeting and information on where to shop, along with house maintenance – cleaning and decorating. Each year, the volunteers and residents do a makeover on the living areas of the houses showing what teamwork can achieve.
The residents have all experienced homelessness. Many have poor mental and physical health, and some are managing addictions to substances and/or alcohol. Therefore the ideal volunteer for these sessions will need to be tolerant, understanding and offer support in a non-judgemental manner. This work is immensely satisfying and rewarding so long as you understand that progress can be slow at times.
Volunteer Activity Responsibilities:
- Be reliable, committed, professional
- Have a genuine interest in improving the lives of others
- Support and encourage residents to engage in the Community Living Activities
- To ensure Health & Safety is adhered to, including keeping the communal living and outdoor spaces safe for yourself and other users, ensuring all equipment is cleaned and put away at the end of the group sessions
- To support the residents to plan prepare for each task including sourcing and purchasing materials and food
- To support residents to use equipment and materials such as gardening tools & household items to carry out basic household DIY, cleaning and garden maintenance
- Complete monitoring and evaluation records at the end of each session
- To report any problems or issues to a member of staff and adhere to safeguarding principles.
- Homemaking, DIY, painting, joinery, gardening, baking, cooking etc.
- Some admin skills will be essential and the session does need to be evaluated.
- Have some understanding of working with vulnerable individuals and boundaries.
Training and help will be given.
Volunteers will be requested to have a DBS check done before starting in this role.
For more details on or to apply, please contact Katie Fawcett on 01422 303458 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org