Advance is a large organisation that provides practical support and housing to help people with learning difficulties live independently and take part in activities within the community. Advance’s approach to supporting each individual is focussed on the promotion of a quality life.
Volunteers at Advance support adults with learning disabilities with household tasks, such as shopping, cooking and cleaning; as well as supporting them to do social and leisure activities that they enjoy. This could include going to the cinema, having a meal in a restaurant or playing a sport.
Advance works with people with a wide range of learning disabilities. Some people have very severe learning difficulties, which can mean they are not able to communicate their feelings by speaking about them or that they are unable to complete simple everyday tasks by themselves. Other people have much milder learning difficulties and are able to do most things for themselves, but may need help with specific things like doing the finances or reading or writing.
Volunteers provide a high level of support to paid staff, act as a bridge between service users and other members of the community and have the opportunity to express their own ideas to the organisation. Volunteers do not replace paid members of staff but support them in their work.
Residential volunteers support Advance service users for 30-35 hours each week on a shift basis.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
Applicants must have a good standard of spoken English.
Volunteers should also be patient, open-minded, reliable and flexible.
The project is located in London within one of the inner London boroughs. There is easy access to all facilities and amenities you could expect in a city and also to London’s tourist attractions museums, etc. Telephone and internet are available at the Advance office, and often in the accommodation.
Volunteers need to be aware that they will be living with one or two clients. You will all share house facilities. They will also not live with any other international volunteers.
Hosting Situation (Board and Lodging)
Volunteers most commonly share a flat with Advance service users, sometimes also alongside other volunteers. Volunteers will have their own bedroom and share the kitchen, bathroom and living space.