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Leonard Cheshire Disability - Edinburgh
Start date: 15 Aug 2016, End date: 14 Dec 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s leading charity supporting people with disability. Every year, we support thousands of people in the UK and around the world with physical and learning disabilities to fulfill their potential and live the lives they choose. We work for a society in which every person is equally valued. We believe that people with disabilities should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose - with the opportunity and support to live independently, to contribute economically and to participate fully in society. In order to achieve this, we rely on well-trained, committed volunteers to provide high quality support to the people we work with.The EVS project will take place in the 9 care home units involved in the project, in and around Edinburgh. The project involve 4 volunteers will spend their time between 2-3 units each and will last 12 months with start date in October 2016. The volunteers come from Spain and Greece and have background in social work, psychology and physical education. They are candidates with some experience and interest in disability issues, and they all expressed their wish to continue working towards bettering the conditions and rights for people with disability and interest in developing their competences in the field social care and working with disabled people.The overall aim of the project is to ensure that residents at our care home units in Edinburgh are provided with the opportunity to live their lives the way they choose - with the support to live independently in line with our organisational goal. The project will in turn raise awareness of disability issues as it is expected that the volunteers will gain more knowledge of disability, and that the residents will become more visible and active in the local community.In order to achieve the overall aim, the following objectives will be at the core of the project:1. To introduce diversified, new activities to the activities programme2. To support residents in fulfilling personal long-term goals and with accessing local community services and leisure activities3. To introduce an international perspective to the service users lives and form relationships with young people from other countries4. To raise disability awareness for the volunteers and in the local community5. To promote local and international volunteering The EVS volunteers support our staff teams in providing an active and stimulating environment for our residents. Our volunteers are actively involved in shaping their EVS experiences by developing the activities plan with residents and staff. We encourage volunteers to bring their own ideas, skills and passions to share with residents. As a result, the role is varied depending on their own skills and interests, and the needs of residents and the activities they like to engage in. Our residents make sure their home has a lively atmosphere with activities. The care homes also organise special events such as fundraisers, holiday celebrations, cultural evenings or sports nights. Volunteers also support on social outings, day trips and educational events such as attending college classes. Hence the delivery of activities is heavily influenced by the skills and motivation of our volunteers to design a creative and fun activity programme.The expected impact of project on the residents is that the diversity of activities and enhanced individual support will encourage residents to set new goals and be more open to try new things and in particular to contribute more to the local community. This will improve residents' confidence which we envisage will lead to long term benefits of getting residents to do things like volunteering, organising events, talking about disability issues in the local community and be more involved in decisions made locally and nationally in regards to the care sector and disability issues.The expected impact of the project for the volunteers is to become ambassadors for disability issues. It is expected that the participants will continue to promote disability rights and work towards a society that values disabled and non-disabled people equally. In addition, participants will improve their life skills and key competences through working and communicating with diverse people and gaining a better understanding and solidarity with people who face barriers to participate in society. The placement will provide the volunteers with the opportunity to gain insight into the social services sector, which may help them decide on a career path.
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