Help Your Health is a programme for anyone with a long-term physical/mental health condition or learning disability who would like to volunteer.
Volunteering Hounslow finds a suitable placement for the volunteer, which lasts 12 weeks. During this time, the volunteer completes a placement diary, reviewing their development and achievements, and receives regular one-to-one advice and support. Volunteers on the programme will be supported throughout by Volunteering Hounslow.
Anybody aged over 18, living or studying in Hounslow, with a physical/mental health condition or learning difficulty lasting one year or which is expected to last for one year is eligible. The scheme is entirely free.
Jon Smith* said: "I've learned to be part of a team, met new people and built my confidence'
"I’ve always been confident, but it encourages me. My family are amazed at the difference in me (since volunteering). I will continue volunteering, then onto paid work. Once I’m working I’d like to do some courses, maybe photography.
"Everyone is friendly. Often we go for coffee together. We went on a trail to discover different butterflies. I prepare by reading over the information I have."
- develop an individual's skills and give them new experiences.
- build an individual's confidence and self-esteem.
- be fun and fulfilling.
- allow an individual to make new friends and meet new people.
- open up opportunities for future volunteering.
- help to overcome barriers to paid employment.
Come to a drop-in to register.
These take place every Tuesday and Thursday, 1-3pm, at the CAN Mezzanine, Treaty Centre, Hounslow High Street.
No appointment is necessary, and you can bring a friend, family member, or a key/support worker if you like.
We will show you opportunities that we know about, or we can try and find something different if there's something really specific you'd like to do.
Once you've chosen one, we'll fill out an application form and send it over to the organisation (we can fill this out on your behalf if you like).
The organisation will then call you to arrange a meeting.
The organisation will probably ask to have an initial informal chat to learn a bit more about you, why you'd like to volunteer and your availability.
We'll go along with you for this chat if you like.
If the opportunity asks you to volunteer unsupervised, with vulnerable people, older people or with children, then the organisation will request a DBS check. This is a kind of background check previously called a CRB. The organisation will pay for this.
You will need three forms of identification for this. A passport, birth certificate, utility bill or bank statement are all suitable.
Waiting for a DBS to come through will usually take two to three weeks. Whilst it can be a bit frustrating waiting for this, once you have a DBS check you can often re-use it again and again in future roles, reducing the time in the application process going forward.
Once everything has gone through and been agreed, you'll start volunteering.
If you want us to come along on your first day, we can do.
Waiting for people to get back to you and filling out forms can be pretty frustrating and tiresome. To make everything speed along nicely, please remember the following.
- Make sure your contact details are up to date. Keep your phone on and check your emails regularly.
- Have references and a CV ready to go before registering with us.
- Have three forms of identification ready to go after applying for an opportunity.
- Try to keep an open mind about the sorts of opportunities you'd like to do, and think about what your real priorities are. Maybe it's important for you to begin volunteering as soon as possible, or perhaps the most important thing for you is volunteering with an organisation you really support and care about. These will all affect the application process.
- If you are able to do all of the above, you're more likely to begin volunteering quickly.
If you are an organisation who would like to know more about involving volunteers with additional needs, we can support you. Please get in touch here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org