Published: 15 March 2017
A group of South Liverpool residents have successfully completed a volunteering course set up to help people gain new skills and build self-confidence to apply for volunteering roles in the community.
The group of 12 residents were the first participants to complete Volunteer Academy, a six-week training programme developed in partnership with South Liverpool Homes, homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre and training provider the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).
The organisations hosted a graduation ceremony at Reach, SLH's employment and training hub in Speke, where participants wore the obligatory cap and gown, received a certificate as well as speaking heart-warmingly about their experiences on the course.
“Before joining the course I was quite isolated and lacked self-confidence,” said Paula from Speke. “In just six weeks I have made new friends and have really enjoyed learning new skills; in fact I found every aspect of the course extremely interesting and enjoyable. I now feel empowered to make an application for volunteering roles and feel optimistic about the future.”
Collette McGuire, head of community services at South Liverpool Homes is delighted that the course has proved so successful, “I am so proud of each and every one of the graduates,” said Collette.
“When you launch a training programme like this, there is always that niggling worry that there won’t be enough demand or people won’t be committed to it. There was keen interest from the start and this amazing group have surpassed my expectations with their enthusiasm, drive and commitment. It’s goes without saying that we will be running similar courses in the near future.”
Academy project manager Paula Lever of The Whitechapel Centre is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for the participants, “The volunteering roles in Liverpool are endless and we are really excited to see how our first group of participants progress, whether it’s into volunteering roles, paid employment or just having the confidence to get more involved with their community.”