Volunteers Week 2021
Thank you to all the volunteers who have made a real difference in the last 12 months
Thank you to the neighbours, the carers, the friends and family who provided support by shopping, collecting prescriptions and performing countless other tasks; to those who used our Facebook feeds to offer help.
There have been so many generous, thoughtful people who have stepped-up, walked the talk and got on with practical jobs, such as manning the car parks at the vaccination centres or phoning a lonely neighbour; not forgetting those who got to work sewing all those fantastic face masks.
We could not have done it without you, so a huge thank you to each and every one of you.
Join us in celebrating the kindness and selflessness of those around us, supporting us when we need it most.
We are proud to be a part of the Disability Confident scheme.
Please let us know if you would like to apply through an alternative method and tell us about any adjustments or considerations for interviews.
Join our team of superhero volunteers
Remote volunteering and work placements
If you would like to volunteer remotely to help our charity team or as part of a work placement then we would love to hear from you. Our volunteers gain valuable experience and really enjoy helping out in many different departments including marketing, helpdesk, admin, social media and research.
We always encourage disabled people and people with long term health conditions to join our team of volunteers.
Please call 01582 470900 or email us to register your interest in volunteering with us and for full details.
Current volunteer roles
We are actively seeking keen volunteers (June 2021), so please take a look at the role descriptions below:
+ Social media champion – Ask us for details
+ Data analyst – Ask us for details
David joined us as a volunteer and then he got a job in our helpdesk team
We talked to David about his time as a volunteer for our charity.
Q – How did you become a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre?
“I became a volunteer after losing my job due to my disability and I was told about the ‘In To Employment’ course which began in February 2018. Once I had completed it my next steps were discussed with the lady running the course and she said that with my skills and qualifications I would be a good fit for a voluntary job on the advice lines at The Disability Resource Centre.”
Q- What’s the most rewarding thing about volunteering at The Disability Resource Centre?
“It would have to be the great sense of achievement after each shift of helping so many people on the phones. Sometimes these people are at their lowest point and in need of a supportive and friendly voice.”
Q – What are the most challenging parts of working as a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre?
“I wouldn’t say there was one, to be honest. The training was brilliant and the support you receive from the team is outstanding. You are given all the tools you need to help the services users of The Disability Resource Centre.”
Q – What professional skills have you gained while working as a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre?
“I have gained extensive knowledge of all the disability equipment available to people, the support networks that are out there, disability benefits and I have learnt brilliant telephone techniques to get the most out of each call. Also my IT skills have improved dramatically.”
Q – Have you got any advice for a new volunteer, that’s just starting?
“I would just say go for it. You will learn so much about the things available to disabled people and you will also learn the many ways you can support them to live as much of a fulfilled and busy life as they want to live.”
“After I’d been volunteering for 6 months I was invited to apply for a position within the organisation and I got offered a job and I haven’t looked back since. I am still here some 3 years later and loving working here helping the local community and supporting the service users of the centre.”
Tishy really enjoys her time as a volunteer
Tishy Thomas has cerebral palsy and when she joined our team of volunteers in 2019 she said:
"I started at The Disability Resource Centre on Tuesday the 31st of July as a volunteer.
I'm helping with their social media and Grey Matters event for older people, on a Thursday morning to promote what they do.
I really enjoyed myself on my 1st day at The Disability Resource Centre as a volunteer. Everyone that I met is very friendly and welcoming. They all made me feel so at ease. I would recommend anyone to be a volunteer at The Disability Resource Centre because it is a fantastic opportunity".
Michael talks about his voluntary work
Sammie, our student research volunteer
Sammie is at university and gained valuable experience volunteering as a researcher.
Our CEO, Melanie Hawman, wrote this reference for Sammie after the completion of the project :
“When we first spoke to Sammie she immediately understood the brief for long-form conversations with a sample of our customers during the coronavirus lockdown.
After a couple of briefing meetings Sammie responded with a project proposal that included her methodology, the scope of the study and an outline of the topics for discussion with the customers.
After completing a DBS check and confidentiality agreement Sammie got to work on interviewing (by phone) 15 of our recent customers.
The purpose of the interviews was to gain a clearer picture of the pressures that our customers were under during the coronavirus lockdown.
Sammie completed the interviews over 4 weeks and kept anonymized notes.
The findings of the study were summarised by Sammie in a report along with her recommendations of the actions that our charity might need to take to better support our customers after the lockdown.
Sammie’s sensitive approach in her conversations with our many older and disabled customers resulted in some important insights. Sammie’s report is to be presented to our charity’s Board of Trustees to help guide development of our services post-lockdown.
Sammie is a conscientious, thoughtful volunteer. She was sensitive to the individual needs of our customers and produced a very high quality study.
Thank you very much Sammie.
The Disability Resource Centre”
If you are interested in volunteering for our charity then please call 01582 470900 or email us for full details.
Feel good every day
The Disability Resource Centre is a user-led charity, run by disabled people for disabled people. We provide a range of free services empowering people of all ages who are affected by disability or health conditions to fulfill their potential and aspirations. We help disabled people, carers and families across Bedfordshire and Luton.
Our services include information and advice, welfare benefits advice, specific support for carers, personalisation, direct payments services, equipment for daily living, support groups, training for personal assistants, support for employers of personal assistants, training in personal development and IT, employment courses and support for employers of disabled people.
Whether you would like to meet new people, provide support to local residents or gain valuable work experience, please contact us to talk through opportunities that are available. We will find a role that is right for you.
There are lots of benefits to volunteering, using your skills to help others or developing new ones, Do something you enjoy whilst supporting a cause you care about.
Whatever your reason, we would love to hear from you.
Gain work experience
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop core skills – such as working in a team, effective communication and problem solving. You can also expand your vocational skills including IT, Customer Service and Advice skills
Meet new people
Volunteering is a great way to meet people. Join our friendly team who really value the contribution you make.
Access to training
Whilst at The Disability Resource Centre you can access our training programmes as part of your induction, training package and wider work of The Disability Resource Centre. There will be plenty of opportunities to learn new things.
Develop your transferrable skills
Skills you gain in volunteering can be transferred into other situations or roles, even helping those looking for paid employment to get back to work.
Enhance your CV
Volunteering experience can demonstrate positive personal qualities such as motivation and helping others. Your CV can show what you have been doing, key skills, roles and responsibilities. Volunteering can help fill skills gaps in your CV and show what you can do.
Do something you enjoy
If there is something you enjoy doing, why not share it? Do you enjoy talking to people, researching online, designing marketing material, fixing things or helping others?
Build your confidence
Meeting new people, trying something new and entering new situations can build your confidence and self-esteem. Meeting others in similar situations and talking to people can have positive benefits.
We appreciate all the organisations that provide staff time to come and volunteer at the Centre to make a difference to those using our services. Whether it is volunteering your areas of expertise, or doing something completely different, it is all appreciated.
We can work with you to explore opportunities that meet the needs of your organisation, its Corporate Social Responsibility and support to our service users.
Join the team
The Disability Resource Centre welcomes applications from disabled people, those with learning disabilities, carers or those with an interest in disability issues. We believe in Empowering people of all ages who are affected by disability or health conditions to fulfil their potential and aspirations.
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We are here for you…
Our team members are all working at home and available to help you, so please contact us.
Phone: 01582 470 900
WhatsApp: 07871 744157
Text us: 07871 744157
Talk to us via Facebook Messenger
Simply click the pink ‘Chat with us’ button below, open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
Over the next few months, we will be hosting live online webinars to promote our free Support into Employment programme. Each webinar will provide you with an introduction to The Disability Resource Centre and what you can expect should you join the programme.
The dates for our final Wellbeing Matters course are available and you can book your space today. We have helped many people improve their overall wellbeing during the pandemic across Luton and Bedfordshire.