This Project was run in Leeds at Osmondthorpe Resource Centre from January to July 2011, for disabled adults. It was devised by the WEA and supported by the staff at the Centre where the WEA has along and supportive relationship.
The overriding aim of the project was to provide a challenging but safe space in which the learner could acknowledge, explore and develop fully their own potential using volunteering as a focus.
The project consisted of:
• One pre-course induction for potential learners with their carers and/or family.
• One mid-course induction for participating organisations offering volunteer placements.
• Two separate 20 hour courses where learners working together as a group addressed and made sense of their own barriers and anxieties to moving on as well as devising strategies to dealing with the barriers they might encounter from society; they re-discovered skills that they already possessed and developed new ones. They honoured themselves and supported each other. There were sessions around health and safety, safeguarding and appropriate conduct in the workplace. As their confidence and self-esteem increased so did the learners’ goals and they were able to make realistic choices in their placements.
• Two volunteering placements were arranged for each learner.
• The project culminated in a celebration event at Leeds Civic Hall.
The Project was supported by Leeds City Council East North East Area Committee and the Osmondthorpe Resource Centre.
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