Thamesmead residents are making a real difference in their community in the run up to and beyond National Volunteer’s Week (1 – 5 June).
More than 500 people are registered with Trust Thamesmead, part of the Peabody Group, to volunteer in Thamesmead, giving up their time to community groups and organisations.
With 30 varied volunteering opportunities currently available, ranging from health and wellbeing and literacy champions to drivers and drama facilitators, we thought we would ask a few of our volunteers about the difference they are making in their community and the reasoning behind their selflessness.
55-year-old, Claire Wint-Omoreye (pictured): “I have been working with children since 1978. I now work as a registered child-minder four days a week and a Literacy Champion volunteer every Friday at Trust Thamesmead’s Early Words Literacy project. The programme works with families, encouraging parents/carers to read to and interact with their child/ren. It is a fantastic role. I not only get to help with children’s individual development but help to instil confidence in parents too. Volunteering gives me real purpose in life. Gaining feedback as a volunteer when I know I am doing something to help others for no self-gain is the most satisfying thing. Two of the parents I have been working with have come on leaps and bounds and are now being lined up to become literacy champions too.”
38-year-old, Abu Bah: “I work shifts and wanted to do something in my community on my days off. I have a public health degree and read about Thamesmead’s health stats which are poor compared to most of London. I have worked with both the London Borough of Bexley in the past and now the Royal Borough of Greenwich, delivering The Understanding Health Improvement initiative in partnership with Trust Thamesmead, educating residents about their own health and wellbeing and encouraging them to become Health Champions to enable them to help others. The thing I find most satisfying is when I bump into students in the local supermarket and I look in their baskets and they tell me they are eating healthier than ever thanks to what they have learnt. Also when residents become Health Champions and engage others about how they too can lead a healthier lifestyle. Success is not about the money you make but the difference you make to people’s lives. I am extremely blessed.”
38-year-old, Judith Nembhard: “I had been out of work for some-time, studying and bringing up my daughter who is now 10 and I wanted to look into gaining more experience in my chosen career as an accountant. In December 2013, I contacted Trust Thamesmead who asked me about my experience and interests and they told me about two book-keeping volunteering roles that were available. I was put in touch with Thamesmead Furniture Recycle and CADZ Productions, who I have been volunteering with ever since. It has been fantastic. I have learnt new skills which will help me with future job prospects, met lots of new people within the community and feel more confident than ever. It is also a great feeling knowing I am helping others.”
To celebrate National Volunteers Week, Trust Thamesmead, part of the Peabody Group, are offering a number of events to encourage volunteering.
• Monday 1 June, 10:00am – 3pm, Volunteer Open Day
Find out more about volunteering in Thamesmead, Trust Thamesmead, 19a Joyce Dawson Way, Thamesmead Town Centre, SE28 8RA.
• Tuesday 2 June, 10:00am – 12:00pm, 2:00 – 4:00pm and 4:30 – 6:30pm, Free Volunteer Management and Role Writing Workshop
These workshops will tell you all you need to know about running a successful volunteering programme.
• Wednesday 3 June, 9:00am – 5:00pm, Volunteering
Help to pack food parcels for a local food bank or transform an area into a natural play space. There are two volunteering opportunities available to choose from today. Please get in touch with Trust Thamesmead to find out more.
• Friday 5 June, 10:00am – 12:00pm, 2:00 – 4:00pm and 4:30 – 6:30pm, Effective Volunteering Workshop
These workshops will introduce you to volunteering, how to be a good volunteer and ways to get involved.
In 2012, Peabody was the first London housing association to be awarded an Investing in Volunteers accreditation, which recognises the excellent work we do. This reflects the extensive volunteering package we offer residents including ongoing training, free accredited qualifications, references and great experience ranging from office and administration work to helping to organise events and activities, befriending older people, volunteering with families or young people and teaching computer skills.
Peabody also runs an employee volunteer programme, Peabody Promise which gives individual staff members 14 hours' paid time off a year to help with community projects.
Find out more about volunteering opportunities in Thamesmead by contacting Trust Thamesmead’s Community Development Outreach Worker (Volunteering), Sarah Feleppa, T: 020 8320 4470 or E: email@example.com