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Small steps, strong path

We all need to find rewarding, meaningful and fulfilling activities and occupations in our lives. ubu believes that everyone should have opportunities to find rewarding work and to enhance our communities by volunteering and contributing their skills and time. No one should be excluded or ignored.

Many of the people served by ubu have inspiring stories of their efforts and successes in finding work and pursuits that enrich not only their own lives but also those of their local communities too.

Sandra moved into a ubu enabled flat in West Yorkshire where she has been able to live with independence and to find happiness in what she does with her time. “I used to work for a charity as a volunteer, but even though I got some great experience there, I got bored with what I was being asked to do. I wanted to find something where I could be learning new skills that would help me to work towards getting a paid job eventually”.

Sandra was introduced by ubu enablers to a local community group in Leeds. “I had the chance to meet up with someone who works at St James Hospital in in the city. I had a great time with her, finding out about the work she does befriending and helping people who are stuck in hospital”. Sandra was invited to meet some people that help out as volunteers. “I was really interested in their stories as I have always wanted to help people and my dream has been to become a nurse one day”.

Sandra decided to try working part-time at St James’ Hospital. “My new role is to be a ‘Get Me Better Champion’ on one of the wards, and I go round chatting to people, putting gloves in the dispensing machines and making sure that all the beds have hand gel to help stop germs spreading”.

“I’m really proud that I am working to help other people. At last I feel that I am really being appreciated. I found it hard to believe in the past that I would ever get a chance to do something like this but here I am…”

John, from Manchester has decided to make a start in finding the kind work that he would like to do in the future. After he did a bit of research supported by his ubu enabling team, John found a local organisation which aims to help people to find ways to make lasting and positive changes to their lives through skill-building courses. He joined one called ‘Back On Track’ which has given him loads of useful experience and helped him to build some new skills.

“I have been working in the community café. My role gives me responsibility for making sure that the stock is fresh, ensuring that the cafe is clean and now I’m learning how to prepare vegetables and help the cook in the kitchen”. John has a huge amount of enthusiasm and energy for what he’s doing. “It’s been a good starting point for me, I have be building on the skills I already have from previous courses I’ve completed such as Food Safety”. John says that his next step is to use the experience and confidence he has gained to find paid employment.

Charlotte who lives in Spalding enabled by ubu, started volunteering with the at Ayscoughfee Hall community kitchen garden. It is a project which has been set up to develop shared garden spaces and to get people to start growing fresh foods for themselves. Charlotte learned how to plant, weed, water and landscape the gardens throughout the spring and summer last year and she is thinking about joining them again this year.

Over the winter Charlotte has taken on a new volunteer position with the NHS assisting with teas and coffees and washing and drying up after breaks for one of their support groups. It is something Charlotte has found that she really loves doing and because she is friendly and eager to help others, she has been invited to join the group during their breaks to chat. It’s been an excellent chance to make new friends and to do something useful in her community too.


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