Sean walks after 12 years in wheelchair
Volunteer Sean, 43, raises funds for The Trussell Trust by selling donated books online. Sean, who used to work in IT in the city, has not been able to walk since he was beaten up, unprovoked, in a Lanzarote club 12 years ago. Barely able to speak and unable to work, his friends deserted him.
Having re-discovered his self-worth through volunteering, Sean was inspired to try to walk again. After much effort, Sean left his wheelchair and made his way from the Trust’s online books office to the lunch room using sticks. ‘Working at the Trust inspired me to get off my backside!’ says Sean, ‘It has broadened my horizons, taught me how to be unselfish and showed me that I can be part of something. I’ve made some great friends at the Trust and my next step is to lose my sticks and be able to walk without support. I’m starting to get some of my independence back.’
The Trussell Trust’s supported volunteer programme provides opportunities for people with mental, social and physical difficulties.
Emma leaves house on her own for first time in years
Kim, Police Community Affairs Officer, works in partnership with The Trussell Trust to run a free jewellery class in the Trust’s Salisbury charity shop on the deprived Bemerton Heath estate. She tells us: 'One lady, Emma, had not done anything on her own for nine years, not even going to the shops. Emma’s friend took her to beading class and then one week couldn't make it. Emma came on her own. These small steps make a big difference. The group bridges the gap between people who would not normally interact, stigmas are broken down and people learn new ways to live.'
'We have a real mix of people, from substance and alcohol abusers to people with mental health issues. Everyone is welcomed in and encouraged. We have a rule that alcohol and substance abusers cannot take drugs or alcohol on beading days. People keep the rule because they don't want to let the group down.’
The jewellery class is a joint venture between Wiltshire Police and The Trussell Trust. The jewellery created can either be taken home for £1 or sold in The Trussell Trust’s shop to help raise funds for the charity.
Recycling centre ‘opens eyes’ of people on community service
Ed is serving community service hours in The Trussell Trust’s recycling centre, he is helping sort goods to be sold for funds, asked what he think of his placement he says: ‘I like making a difference in people’s lives’, another community service volunteer adds ‘I go home enriched’.
Trussell Trust recycling centre manager says ‘So many people on probation orders have come from broken families, suffered neglect, felt isolated and made bad decisions as a result. This doesn’t mean what they did was right but it is so important not to judge. We treat everyone the same, helping everyone know that they are valued and can do something positive. Probation Officer Amanda Uphill says: ‘Many choose to serve extra hours with the Trust, they have their eyes opened to poverty. People feel that they have really paid back for what they’ve done. They come away with boosted self-esteem and a belief that they can do something worthwhile. They love it!’
The Trussell Trust offers a range of volunteering opportunities to people serving community service and have seen many lives impacted by this.