How you could offer a lifeline for vulnerable people in South Tyneside by volunteering with South Shields charity BLISS=Ability

It’s been helping disabled and vulnerable people in South Tyneside for decades – and now it wants your help.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 6:46 pm
BLISS=Ability volunteer coordinator Andrew Richardson with volunteers.

Advocacy and support service, BLISS=Ability, which offers a lifeline for many residents in South Tyneside, has launched a volunteer drive to help them fill a range of roles.

For more than 20 years, the charity has provided advocacy, advice and support for disabled residents living in the borough, and for those who are unemployed, vulnerable or may feel isolated.

There are about 15 dedicated volunteers who donate their time to help, from office admin work to outreach and mentoring support in the community.

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BLISS=Ability volunteer coordinator Andrew Richardson with volunteers.

“We have people coming in with a range of needs and we try and match them up with volunteers,” explained volunteer coordinator, Andrew Richardson.

“It might be someone who is lonely or housebound and we can arrange someone to visit their home to give them someone to talk to, or take them shopping or the gym.”

However, the volunteers themselves also have a lot to gain, says Andrew.

“The benefits of volunteering are enormous, including meeting new people, gaining confidence, and learning new skills to make a difference within the community,” he continued.

“If you can show you have been volunteering it really sets you apart from other applicants with employers.”

BLISS=Ability volunteers vary in age from 18-year-old university students, to retirees in their 60s, and Andrew catches up with individuals regularly to make sure they are happy in their roles.

“I meet with all the volunteers on a monthly basis and the most common feedback is that it gives them a sense of self worth and belonging, they feel valued by the community and supported by staff,” he said.

“We have such a wide range of services and clients, there’s plenty to keep people busy as a volunteer and you’re guaranteed to find something that you are interested in.”

All volunteers must complete a DBS check and 4-6 weeks of training before going out on their own.

For more details contact Andrew on [email protected] or 07532278258.