Katie's Diary

Therapeutic Work

9th July 2013

Therapeutic and voluntary work provides wonderful opportunities to get involved in a project or role that offer a sense of value and genuine achievement. There are many different areas that you can apply to work in, such as charity work, administration, animal welfare, horticulture etc, which means that there should be something out there that fits everyone’s strengths and abilities.

This is something that many ubu customers take advantage of on their journey to greater independence. Across all the regions we support we have people that have therapeutic roles in various organisations ranging from libraries and equine services to garages and even fire stations!

There really is a wealth of opportunity out there and if you are ready to take that step then don’t wait another second; have a look around and talk to the places you feel would be best suited to your wants and needs. Then soon enough you will find, like many others, that taking on a therapeutic or voluntary role can provide a great deal of fulfillment.

Dive down to the next level to read a fantastic story about one particular ubu customer who found that he could create a therapeutic role for himself, using one of his life passions to fuel his own initiative.

Swim

So what does it really take to get involved in a therapeutic role? What are the things you need to do in order to get to where you want to be?

The first thing on the list must surely be to know what kind of thing you want to do. Perhaps you are a keen reader who loves to organise things; in which case you would be very well suited to working in a library. Or maybe you love nothing more than to tend to plants and flowers – taking pride in nurturing them and watching them grow; this would suggest that you would be very well suited to work involving gardening.

Whatever it is you must recognise within yourself, what you would most like to be involved in and that’s when you have your starting point.

The next thing to do is to research any local charities/companies/organisations which offer roles that play to your strengths and passions and make contact with them to establish whether they are currently looking for people, or would be willing to accept volunteers.

This part may take some time and can be the hardest because if you have your heart set on working somewhere and they don’t need any extra help at that time, it can be dejecting. So persistence is key here. You must stay positive and keep trying so that eventually you can find the opportunity you are looking for.

Once you have made contact and have found out that there are available positions, you will then most probably be asked to meet with the organisation for either a formal or informal interview. This is your time to shine; to show the people in charge that you will be the right person to take on the therapeutic/voluntary role on offer.

Assuming this goes well you will find yourself with a new role and therefore a new part of your life to open up and explore, whilst learning and developing yourself.

Perhaps you have a great role already that you are very proud of? Maybe you have just started a new role? Or are you currently looking for that perfect position to really make the most of your skills and ambitions?

If so get in touch and let us know by sending the details to jamesp@ubu.me.uk

 

Further Reading:

Information about Therapeutic Work:

http://thework.org.uk/

 

Voluntary Work Finder Website:

http://www.do-it.org.uk/

Dive

A North Yorkshire gentleman, who is supported by ubu, has inspired his neighbours by demonstrating that his disability won’t stop him from striving to reach his dreams, nor will they get in the way of him setting up his own business. 

He has always loved animals and throughout his childhood always owned a dog. Unfortunately he is restricted from owning his own pet, so he would regularly travel to the Dogs Trust in Leeds to spend time helping and comforting the dogs there that just needed a little love and care. The economic climate led to increased costs and it became impossible for him to sustain the travelling so he decided he needed another way to express the love and connection he felt with these animals.

With assistance from his ubu Enablers he turned his love for dogs into a viable business idea; a dog walking venture! He produced a business plan with advertising materials and approached all the local businesses including vets and dog groomers.

This initiative proved extremely fruitful, securing regular customers very quickly. “My first customer was Maisy, whom I walk every Wednesday” he told us. “She is a very friendly dog, full of energy and always raring to go. On Fridays I look after a guide dog called Gracie. She loves chasing a ball and rolling on her back. Then there’s Jeffrey, a Black Labrador, full of fun and mischief! I am always looking for more customers, you can never have too many.” 

He walks the dogs for one hour each per week, usually independently if the weather is good, but sometimes with assistance if it is wet and windy. Staff who work with him say “he has become a happier person since starting his business” and “he is an excellent example of how a disability need not prevent a person from achieving their dreams”

Therapeutic Work

 I decide what matters to me. ubu help and teach me to make my future happen 

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