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Leonard Cheshire Disability - The Grove
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. Leonard Cheshire Disability has grown to have over 200 services throughout the UK over 65 years. We support over 21,000 disabled people in the UK, providing innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live a life without barriers. We believe that disabled people 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. The needs and aspirations of disabled people are at the heart of what we do. The EVS project will take place in The Grove, the Leonard Cheshire care home located 6 miles south from Norwich. The project involve 2 volunteers from Italy and Greece and will last 12 months with start date in September 2016. The volunteers selected for this project have background in disability studies and some experience supporting people with disability. They are great candidates with the right among of experience and interest in disability issues, and they both wish to continue working towards bettering the conditions and rights for people with disability.The main aim of the project stands in line with Leonard Cheshire organisational goal: to ensure that residents are provided with the opportunity to live their lives the way they choose - with the support to live independently. 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.Specific objectives of the project include:1. To assist with activities (the most typical activities are arts and crafts, music, games, quizzes)2. To accompany groups of people living with disability on excursions in the community3. To take the lead in organising fundraising activity at The Grove, or in the local community. 4. To take responsibility for organising regular (fortnightly) activity.5. To draw on volunteer's own cultural background to develop activities based on cross-cultural understanding.6. To use one’s own hobbies and/or interests as means of interaction with people with communication difficultiesThe 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 such art and craft workshops, quizzes, IT workshops, music group, cooking and gardening. 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.EVS volunteers have lasting impact on many different aspects of our service users’ lives. Volunteers enable disabled people to be more independent, enjoy a greater choice of activities and form a healthy social relationship. 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 communiThe local community learn more about other cultures and disability. With support from EVS volunteers we are able to host more local social events that spread the EVS program and disability issues, as well as creates a warm and welcoming environment within our care homes. An active and varied social life for our residents is often key to their health, happiness and quality of life. Thus the impact of the EVS project at addresses a very basic human need of developing real and meaningful relationships, which is a fantastic result. 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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