“It’s given me a bit more faith in humanity”: Case Study of an Assistant Volunteer at Click Café

For this Case Study I spoke to Duncan Moss, an assistant volunteer at Click Café, a community hub and café run for and by disabled people from Enhanceable. In his words, Duncan’s role involves “helping out where help is needed – operating the till, the dishwasher, setting out food, making tea etc”. He explained that he was let go from his job as a care-worker in 2021, and had decided to begin volunteering to “get back into the swing of having a job”. 

Working at Click

Duncan stated that he had been volunteering for 10 months, and the experience had been very positive. He praised the environment, giving a cheerful anecdote about his interview as an example of its uniqueness: “I had an interview, by the end we were doing karaoke”. Duncan also praised his fellow volunteers, emphasising their kindness and support:  “Everyone is so nice here. No-one’s out to get you,” he explained, “It’s given me a bit more faith in humanity”. For Duncan, volunteering allowed him to better his well-being by socialising and being productive.

Duncan  spoke highly of the working environment and his peers at Click and emphasised that he enjoyed the responsibility of the role. To volunteers at Click Café, the role was not “a job you can just turn up to when you feel like it” largely due to its reliance on volunteers to keep operating. 

When asked about whether or not this role was suitable for a diverse range of volunteers, Duncan was very positive, prefacing his answer with “anybody is welcome here for a cup of tea”. He reiterated the kindness of his co-workers, stating that “we just accept everyone for who they are”. Whether people of different faiths or disabilities came to volunteer, he explained, they were welcome. 

Duncan was extremely optimistic about Click Cafe’s future. “I’ve got lots of ideas for Click Café ”, he explained, “It’s got an exciting future”. Perhaps the best testament to his love of Click Café was when he said that “I’m happy to work here [at Click Café] beyond retirement age”. 

If you’d like to volunteer as a way to gain a solid work experience foundation, be sure to visit Volunteering Kingston and take a look at our current advertised roles. If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of volunteering, read this Case Study on a Visitor Volunteer at the William Morris Gallery.

By Annabelle, Volunteering Kingston

Organisation Spotlight: Learn English At Home

Organisation: Learn English at Home (LEAH)

Tell us a little about your organisation:

LEAH recently celebrated its 40th anniversary of supporting adults with their English language skills. We are based in Kingston but support students in both Hounslow and Richmond as well. We offer both 1:1 lessons and classes to support people who often can’t access college courses to improve their English. We aim to facilitate language proficiency and foster integration within the local community.

Why are volunteers valuable to your organisation?

With a dedicated team of approximately 100 volunteers, LEAH welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds who are passionate about education and community engagement. Whether you’re considering a career in teaching, looking to gain experience, or simply wanting to make a positive impact in your community, LEAH offers a fulfilling volunteering opportunity for you. Many of our tutors, like our students, embarked on their English language journey later in life, enriching their understanding and empathy.

What volunteer role/s do you have available?

We are looking for volunteers who could offer an hour a week to help someone improve their English. No prior teaching experience is necessary as we provide full training (six weekly sessions run online). We actively encourage individuals whose first language is not English to apply.

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering for your organisation?

Don’t worry if you haven’t taught before! LEAH offers thorough training and ongoing support every step of the way. Your willingness to contribute and make a difference is what matters most. 

Organisation Spotlight: Enhanceable

Enhanceable volunteering organisation

Organisation: Enhanceable

Tell us a little about your organisation:

EnhanceAble is a longstanding charity dedicated to providing exceptional social care and support services for children, adults, and young people with disabilities. With a legacy spanning over 60 years, we operate various programmes including an Adult Day Centre in Kingston, the renowned CLICK Cafe also in Kingston, After-School Clubs in Kingston, a Children’s Respite House in Chessington, an Adult Respite House in Epsom, and a Living Service offering outreach support in local boroughs.

Why are volunteers valuable to your organisation?

Volunteers play a pivotal role in the smooth operation of our services, particularly in our CLICK Cafe, where they provide invaluable assistance. Additionally, volunteers enhance our After-School Clubs and other programmes, offering crucial support. We welcome volunteers aged 16 and above, including individuals with additional needs or disabilities, providing enriching experiences and meaningful roles within our organisation.

What volunteer role/s do you have available?

CLICK Cafe Volunteer: Assist with baking, cooking, serving teas/coffees, taking orders, and engaging with customers. Many of our CLICK Cafe volunteers have additional needs, and it is a great way to develop skills and confidence while making new friends and meeting new people. (Monday-Friday, 2pm-6pm, flexible scheduling available)

After-School Clubs Volunteer: Join us during term-time on Mondays (4pm-6pm), Tuesdays (4pm-6pm or 6pm-8pm) to support children with disabilities in various activities such as games, sports, and arts and crafts. It’s a rewarding opportunity to interact with children and make a positive impact in their lives.

Day Centre Volunteer: Assist adult service users in a range of activities including music groups, arts and crafts, bowling, karaoke, and more. Volunteers may also help with serving refreshments and maintaining cleanliness during sessions. Flexible scheduling available Monday to Friday, between 8:30am-4:30pm.

For more information or to express interest in volunteering, please reach out to:

  • Thea Shephard at thea.shephard@enhanceable.org
  • Leanne Johns for After-School Clubs volunteering at leanne.johns@enhanceable.org
  • Philippa Garriques for CLICK Cafe volunteering at philippa.garriques@enhanceable.org.

Student Volunteers’ Week: Gain skills for your CV

Student volunteers week: get skills for your CV

Elevate your professional profile and expand your skill set by engaging in meaningful volunteer work this Student Volunteers Week. 

From leadership and communication to problem-solving and project management, each volunteer opportunity offers a wealth of transferable skills that can enhance your CV and set you apart in today’s competitive job market. 

Embrace the chance to gain practical experience, build your network, and showcase your abilities while making a positive impact on the world around you. 

Whether you’re organising events, coordinating projects, or mentoring others, every volunteer experience is an opportunity for personal and professional growth. 

Ready to unlock your potential? Find out more and sign up to volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Student Volunteers’ Week: Support Kingston

Student volunteers week: support kingston

Embrace the spirit of community and civic pride by actively participating in volunteer activities that support your local borough. 

Whether you’re lending a hand at a local event, participating in community clean-up efforts, or advocating for positive change, your contributions play a vital role in enhancing the quality of life for everyone in your area. 

Embrace the opportunity to connect with your borough, strengthen community ties, and foster a sense of belonging as you work together to create a brighter, more vibrant future for Kingston. 

Ready to make a difference in your community? Find out more and sign up to volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Student Volunteers’ Week: Gain Work Experience

Student volunteers week: gain work experience

Step into the realm of practical learning and hands-on experience by volunteering in your chosen field. 

Whether you’re befriending members of the community, assisting with community outreach programmes, or honing your skills in a professional setting, each opportunity offers invaluable insights and opportunities to learn essential soft and hard skills to boost your CV. 

Seize the chance to explore your passions, expand your horizons, and lay the foundation for future career success. 

Embrace the opportunity to learn, grow, and make a tangible impact while gaining valuable experience in your area of study. 

Ready to make your mark? Find out more and sign up to volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Student Volunteers’ Week: Build Your Confidence

Student volunteers week: Build your confidence

Discover the transformative power of volunteering as you embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth.

Every task you undertake presents an opportunity to challenge yourself, push your limits, and emerge stronger and more confident than before. 

Whether you’re organising a fundraising campaign or leading a team of volunteers, celebrate each small victory as a testament to your resilience and determination. 

Embrace the confidence that comes from knowing you have the skills and abilities to make a meaningful difference in the world. 

Ready to take the next step? Find out more and sign up to volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Student Volunteers’ Week: Make New Friends

Student volunteers week: make new friends

Embark on a fulfilling journey of friendship and connection through the power of volunteering. 

Each activity offers a unique opportunity not only to make a positive impact in your community but also to forge meaningful bonds with like-minded individuals. 

Whether you’re teaming up for a neighbourhood clean-up or collaborating on a charity event, cherish the camaraderie and shared experiences that come with working towards a common goal. 

Embrace the joy of building new friendships and fostering a sense of belonging as you navigate this rewarding journey together. 

Ready to make a difference? Find out more and sign up to volunteer at Volunteering Kingston.

Embrace the Spirit of Giving in 2024: A New Year’s Resolution for Volunteering 

volunteering

We hope you had a wonderful festive season. Whether you celebrated with family or took a break to unwind, as the stress and excitement of December fade away, it’s time to embrace the opportunities that the New Year brings. 

The beginning of the year often sparks a renewed interest in giving back to the community, and this message shamelessly aims to encourage everyone to consider volunteering. It’s a time when people reflect on resolutions like being more active, quitting smoking, or losing weight. The January individual, full of aspirations and positive energy, is a familiar archetype that many of us can relate to. 

volunteering

Volunteering locally provides a unique avenue to channel this New Year positivity. By registering with Volunteering Kingston, you open the door to countless possibilities. If you’re looking to spend more time outdoors, we offer opportunities in ecology, environmentalism, and climate-related activities. Don’t wait for spring—dive into the deep end and let the winter season bring you a refreshing sense of joy. 

For those driven by the desire to help others, your contributions are more than welcome. While the festive season often highlights the needs of the homeless and destitute, the reality is that the demand for support, advice, information, and care persists throughout the year. January, in particular, can be a lonely month for some, and any effort to alleviate that loneliness is greatly appreciated. 

The essential roles performed by numerous voluntary and community organisations locally rely heavily on the dedication of volunteers. New enthusiasm acts like a ripple on a pond, reaching both long-time volunteers and those who benefit from their services. Your unique personality and motivation, no matter the trigger, contribute to the diverse range of volunteers that make a difference. 

So, why not sign up today and let’s collectively make 2024 the best year it can be? Your involvement can be the catalyst for positive change, making a meaningful impact in the lives of others and fostering a stronger, more connected community. Together, let’s embrace the spirit of giving and make this year one filled with compassion and connection. 

Register as a volunteer or browse available positions today!

Organisation Spotlight: Save the World Club (Trustees Week Edition)

trustees week. save the world club. kingston

To celebrate Trustees Week (6-10 November) we are highlighting the valuable role that Trustee Volunteers play in the volunteering sector. 

Organisation: Save The World Club

Name: Hugh Williams

Tell us a little about your organisation:

Save The World Club’s mission is to encourage positive environmental action and self-empowerment. We achieve this through our three main pillars: Food re-distribution, circulation of second-hand goods, and the mosaic murals all over the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames that we’ve made in conjunction with local artists and the community. 

The charity was originally founded in 1986 by Des Kay, who is still a Director/Trustee/Volunteer to this day. We are based in a warehouse we like to call “The Circulatory”, a building whose purpose is to promote a more circular economy to prevent wasting resources and improve the environmental impact of the things we use at the end of their lives. 

trustees week. save the world club. kingston

Why are Trustee Volunteers valuable to your organisation?

Trustee Volunteers are important to our organisation as they play an important role in both, deciding what direction would be most suitable to achieve the charity’s goals, and also as direct leadership on the ground for those who want to help but need to know where to start.

What does the Trustee Volunteer role involve? 

The role of Trustee Volunteer with Save The World Club is a varied one.

At its least involved, it could be as little as helping decide high-level planning and direction for the charity and taking part in board meetings once every two weeks for around 2 hours. On the more involved side, it could be to support the direction and needs of one of our teams from finance, HR, administration, food provision & collection, or even outreach. The more involved could be as much as 6-8 hours a day 5-6 days a week.

Training for a Trustee Volunteer is as diverse as the role you chose to take charge of. Taking into account where you’d like to be, and what training that entails, is just as much a part of being a Trustee/Director/Volunteer with us as the training we think you need to do your role well. 

What skills or experience are needed to become a Trustee Volunteer?

Patience, an open mind, the ability to step back where needed, and the confidence to step up when something is wrong. While all of these are desirable, a mindset open to learning/developing active and caring leadership to build a better space for everyone is a must.

Do you have any Trustee Volunteer role vacancies currently?

Yes!

We are open to interest in almost any area for our Director/Trustee volunteer opportunities, with a particular interest in becoming a treasurer. While we do have a fundraiser and grants Director/Trustee Volunteer, the applications leave them little time to compile accounts for our financial reflection.

Contact Tariq Shabbeer (Director/Trustee – Secretary General) [Tariq@savetheworldclub.org] or Hugh Williams (CEO) [Hugh@savetheworldclub.org].

What advice would you give to someone considering volunteering for your organisation?

Our roles are very flexible and so long as you have a good mindset, the roles can be both incredibly rewarding and equip you with valuable skills. You get to support vulnerable and local people while also saving both your wallet and the planet together with a fantastic team.

trustees week 2023