The Wallich is celebrating Volunteers Week from 1 – 12 June with the success of RSVP (Residents and Service Users’ Volunteer Programme), a supported volunteering programme specifically designed for The Wallich residents and service users.
RSVP started in 2011 and has supported over 600 volunteers across all of Wales giving in excess of 25,000 hours.
Volunteering activities include gardening, maintenance, peer mentoring and befriending, running and taking part in workshops and learning media and public affairs skills to create marketing materials and blog on the website.
A former RSVP volunteer, Stuart John, is now a Receptionist for The Wallich Central Services in Cardiff but first accessed support from The Wallich when he was a rough sleeper in Bridgend.
He received the support he needed to get housed then was referred to RSVP scheme.
Stuart volunteered across many of The Wallich projects and gained experience of working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and complex needs such as prison leavers, people with substance misuse issues and families experiencing housing difficulties.
With the knowledge, confidence and skills he has gained Stuart is providing job coaching and work shadowing to other people on the RSVP and WISE (Working in Sustainable Employment) programmes.
“Volunteering is very rewarding as you not only gain valuable skills but it keeps you in a positive routine and helps you to gain confidence.
After being an external volunteer for about six months, I realised my passion for working with clients and how much I wanted to work for The Wallich – I like how they work and support people.
I would recommend volunteering to anyone as it gave me the confidence and experience I needed to achieve getting back into full-time work.”
Sian David, Involvement & Quality Coordinator for The Wallich said:
“We value each and every one of our RSVP volunteers for their contribution to our charity. We are passionate about people and believe that everybody has a gift to offer society regardless of their background.
Being homeless should not be a barrier to achieving goals or aspirations and volunteering through RSVP offers our clients the chance to share their incredible talents and experience with others.”
If you would like to find out more about supporting The Wallich, please visit our Do Something pages
Join in the conversation on Twitter and use #volunteerweek