Fair Deal is embarking on an exciting new initiative which focuses on creating opportunities for people to volunteer. We have secured £54k over three years from 2 funders to develop a volunteer project. Staff have also raised over £1000 by participating in the Glasgow Half Marathon. Roy Campbell pictured on this page is the new Volunteer Co-ordinator.
We believe that volunteering helps build community capacity and supports people with learning disabilities to contribute positively to their communities. We recognise the added value that volunteers bring to our organisation and those who use our services. Volunteer involvement in this organisation does not replace or devalue the role of paid staff.
The aim of the volunteer project is to provide opportunities for people with an interest in the changing world of social care to volunteer with Fair Deal but to also ensure people with learning disabilities being supported by Fair Deal get positive opportunities for volunteering too.
We are developing an induction and personal development programme for interested volunteers. The idea is to build informal support arrangements that people can use and move away from the need to constantly purchase support from paid staff. It will also create an environment for peer support and the opportunity for new frienships and relationships to develop.
This will impact positively on the social and leisure opportunities for people with a wider range of people bringing their skill, experience, talents and gifts which everyone can share.
At Fair Deal we are working closely with local people, Glasgow South East Regeneration Agency (GSERA) and the Volunteer Centre to develop this area of work.
A group of nine volunteers met up at fair deal mid January and began their training for volunteering. This was the first of four sessions planned for January 2013, with more sessions planned as the year progresses. The session included an introduction to learning disability, adult protection, care inspection and the SSC as well as the purpose of support and supervision. This is all included in Fair deal‘s induction and demonstrates their commitment to standards as well as supporting volunteers.
This group of volunteers with their heads down working hard provide a variety of volunteering supports within Fair Deal. They are engaged in adult literacy, games and sports days, gardening, ten pin bowling, social nights and many more.
As a volunteer with Fair Deal you can take an SVQ in Employability. This course if offered through the Volunteer Glasgow and involves weekly sessions where volunteers come together in Fair Deal‘s training room and work on-line to complete the course content. The course involves 40 hours of work activity where volunteers examine their skills and choices, build a CV, explore potential jobs and ultimately prepare for interviews.
This year we should be able to extend this programme to include volunteering related SVQ qualifactions. Our ultimate aim is for volunteers to be able to develop personally and increase their skills. It is brilliant to see several volunteers move into employment and we encourage all of the volunteers to take up opportunities.
Early last year Fair Deal struck up a partnership with the David Cargill Centre and Langside Church who have come together and reclaimed a piece of waste ground that was overgrown with buddleias and brambles. The partnership was successful in getting some grant funding from Glasgow City Council‘s Stalled Spaces Community Support Funding.
The New Garden has benefited greatly from the involvement of local volunteers who are working to make the garden an open, welcoming and inclusive community space. the hope is for the New garden to be a place of peace and reflection and a space the community can use and develop.
The land was a green field site until 1939 when it is though a building was erected by the RAF. It was latterly used by the community, but fell into disrepair and was recently demolished. it can still be seen on Google Maps. the base of the building is still in situ and and there are many tons of hard core rock and concrete founds which need to be leveled.
The task of clearing away the growth has also begun and there will be nothing left soon except the sense of community spirit which once thrived on the site and we hope to rekindle with the New Garden.
Volunteers from left to right, Linda Collins, Barbara Fairlie and Alan Johnston give some of their time every weekend to organize, plan and work on the New garden. It is hope the site will be ready for summer planing.
You can find out more about what we are doing and see a photographic record on our new website www.newgarden.tk
If you are a local resident or have a connection with the Langside area through college or work, we would love to welcome you as a volunteer. please feel free to contact Roy Campbell on 0792 123 1573 or contact us.