Volunteers play a really important part within the Skills for Jobs delivery at Groundwork. All volunteers have previously completed the Employability Skills course and so offer a learner perspective and individual support to current participants, as well as building up their own skills. In this important week I want to share the particular contribution made by one of the project’s volunteers called Matt Watson.
Apart from helping the learners, he has also gained the skills to support the tutors with administration. His motivation and confidence have improved to the point where he has delivered parts of sessions and helps induct new volunteers.
Matt then identified the benefit that more computers would bring to our beneficiaries and committed himself to addressing this issue.
Through a friendly contact at Hopwood Hall College, one of our partner organisations, he gleaned insider information about some older resources which were not being used. He then negotiated with Hopwood Hall on our behalf for computers, tables and chairs to be donated to the Skills for Jobs project. Hopwood Hall IT department ensured they were put in good working order and their facilities team delivered them, all free of charge.
We were then able to redesign the layout of our offices to be both more learner friendly and more fit for job seeking. All the staff and volunteers helped out, but Matt in particular, devoted two full days to transforming both the downstairs and upstairs training rooms. He also suggested new and better ways of doing things.
Since volunteering he has helped lots of learners but this recent intervention has made a permanent difference to the project which in turn impacts positively on the both our learners and Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale. It has improved access to computers and job seeking for people in the community on a daily basis.
He is a fantastic role model for all our clients and a great example of a young unemployed person giving up their time in order to make a positive contribution and to learn new skills. I wish Matt every success whatever he chooses to do in the future and a big THANK YOU from me and everyone at Groundwork.
By Janet Ratchford, Skills for Jobs Team Leader at Groundwork Oldham & Rochdale.
Volunteers’ Week takes place from 1-7 June 2013 and this year’s Volunteers’ Week focusses on saying ‘Thank You’ to the millions of volunteers who regularly contribute to society.
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