Tel: 020 7723 1216   Email: info@onewestminster.org.uk

Befriending and Mentoring Adults with Learning Disabilities

Would you like to make a big difference to the life of someone who has a learning disability? 

  • Can you spare at least two hours a week for at least six months?
  • Are you enthusiastic?
  • Do you have empathy?
  • Could you support someone to develop their skills?

Our exciting befriending and mentoring project is looking for more volunteers!

  • No experience needed
  • We provide full comprehensive training and ongoing support.
  • For further information please email Learning Disabilities Project Coordinator Joel Hylton or call him on 020 7535 0484.

Support and benefits for volunteers

Support and benefits for volunteers

This project provides full support to volunteers throughout their time with us. This includes:

  • Full induction and training
  • Travel and refreshments will be reimbursed and Time Credits awarded.
  • Bi-monthly support sessions allow volunteers to share and learn from others’ experiences.

Please see the full role description below and a recent volunteers' newsletter. 

We really appreciate you coming forward and wanting to make a difference.

VOLUNTEER ROLE DESCRIPTION & NEWSLETTER

Referrals from organisations & self referrals

Referrals from organisations & self referrals

Just as we reach out to people with learning disabilities in Westminster, so we also encourage other organisations to reach out to us. If you would like to refer someone to this project please fill in the form below and attach it in an email to us.

Similarly, if you live in Westminster and have a learning disability, or care for someone who does, you can also refer yourself/the person you care for by downloading and completing the self referral form below, then attaching it in an email to us.

VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWS

VOLUNTEER INTERVIEWS

We always like to get our project members involved in our work. All our volunteers are interviewed before they are matched with a suitable person, so project co-ordinator Joel and Leo (who’s a long-standing project member) recently got together to interview a would-be volunteer for the project. Says Joel: “It was just like a job interview in that we took it in turns to explain the volunteering role, ask questions, take notes and generally explain how the process worked. It was a great opportunity for Leo to develop  communications skills and practise the art of interviewing.”

 

Issues faced by people with a learning disability

Issues faced by people with a learning disability

People living with a learning disability are some of the most vulnerable members of society. They:

  • Face social isolation as there is a lack of opportunity to integrate into society
  • Lack confidence
  • May attract social stigma
  • May have a lack of social awareness

Cooking up a storm

Cooking up a storm

As part of our new spring activities programme, project leader Joel invited everyone who was interested in cooking to join him in preparing a healthy and tasty lunch. All participants turned up eager to put their aprons on and get chopping and combining for the main course - curried chick peas and onion bhajis. Everyone first cooked their own chickpea dish, so they could decide exactly how spicy they wanted it to be adding as many or as few chillies, garlic and spices as they wanted. Then the onion bhajis were made as a group effort.

All in all everyone had great fun and learned a lot. Layla Abunoura (pictured left) summed the day’s activities up: “This is how I like to spend my Fridays, making nice food and meeting nice people. I hope Joel can arrange another cooking class so we can have the opportunity to cook more often with different recipes. My family would be very impressed and then I can also begin cooking meals with and for my family.”

More activities are planned for the near future and Joel will have the details soon.

What we offer people with learning disabilities

What we offer people with learning disabilities

We work in partnership with other community organisations ensuring that our clients:

  • Build skills and confidence
  • Improve their quality of life
  • Benefit from change and opportunities
  • Can participate in group activities, such as trips and Christmas parties

See below for an overview of our project and also a flow chart on how we work to change people's lives for the better.

Befriending and mentoring project for people with learning difficulties project overview

A joyful journey

A joyful journey

Having had no prior experience of an individual with a severe learning disability, I anticipated many challenges when I volunteered. However, it has been nothing but a joyful journey and I have gained a host of skills. The lady I befriended was certainly able to understand conversations, take part in group activities and learn new things. I will always remember the countless times she surprised me with her general knowledge, her spontaneous questions and random bursts of joyful laughter. I believe she has learned things with me and I have most certainly learned from her too. Her punctuality and excitement at meeting up every week has made this an unforgettable experience.”

Mai, student, volunteer befriender for eight months

Here's our newsletter

Here's our newsletter

We pleased to say that we've launched a newsletter that explains what we do. Leo Radomir (pictured right) contributes a lot to the newsletter and also takes some of the photographs. You can print the newsletter out, or read it on your computer. Click on the blue box, below right, called Our Winter 2017/18 newsletter.

How volunteering benefitted me

How volunteering benefitted me

Becoming a volunteer befriender has probably been one of the most challenging things I've had to do to date.  I was extremely lucky in being matched with the young person that I befriended. She was so full of life and we did so much together. I have taken away two main things from my experience. First, to try not to make assumptions about people I meet, to know that there is always more to everyone. Second, to try harder in everything I do because there are others who may not be able to have the same opportunities as I do, so I will never take anything for granted."

Thahura Miah – student, a volunteer befriender for more than one year