Projects & Partnerships
Our projects enable everyone – people with disabilities or mental health needs, local employees and lone parents – to make a difference and meet life goals. We offer bespoke volunteering opportunities and tailored support to ensure all volunteers have a valuable experience and benefit from positive outcomes like improved wellbeing and steps towards employment.
Health and Wellbeing
We deliver specialised projects supporting people with multiple health needs to meet life goals. Step Up provides long term individualised support to people with mental health needs to volunteer and gain paid employment, to help with their recovery journey. We provide direct volunteering opportunities and support group placements and activities such as gardening, art and exercise, helping to improve wellbeing. Community Befrienders volunteers reduce social isolation, by visiting people in their own homes, to enable them to partake in daily activities and rebuild their independence.
Public Health Awareness
During the pandemic, we began a number of projects to support our local communities. The Public Health Community Champions programme continues to support both Covid-19 and wider public health priorities as part of ‘living with Covid’. This is achieved by strengthening partnerships with the Public Health team and supporting organisations and individuals based in City and Hackney to communicate key public health messages amongst personal and professional networks. This also helps feed back community insight to develop the programme which enables us to ensure a more relevant and tailored source of support for City and Hackney’s diverse communities.
Place-Based Social Action
Residents and local communities are supported to come up with their own solutions to local problems – to share their skills and deliver joint activities to tackle local issues. Our Together Better service collaborates with local health services and local residents to create free volunteer-led and driven activities in GP surgeries across City and Hackney. The service reduces demands local health services, builds vital community connections, and improves health.
We also have a programme called Our Place, which brings residents together on estates in Hoxton, and New Kingshold to co-produce activities such as gardening, arts and crafts, and a parent-led Stay and Play group.
Steps to Employment
Volunteering is a key step on the route towards paid employment. It provides essential skills and experience to go on CVs’ and application forms. We provide specialist employment advice and support for people with mental health issues through our Step Up project, both to find and sustain paid employment, through employability workshops and long term one to one support. We have helped over 110 people with mental health conditions into paid work since 2015.
Coming to the Volunteer Centre helped me find opportunities I’ve always wanted. Sparing just a few minutes to pop into the centre will give you what you’re looking for
– VOLUNTEER & HACKNEY RESIDENT
Stepping Forward was an Employment Support Programme for lone parents living and claiming benefits in Hackney.
YOUTH VOLUNTEERING TRAINING
We joined the campaign led by the Mayor of London, to increase the rate of volunteering amongst young people.
During 2014-15, we ran a Time to Change campaign, funded by Mind and Rethink Mental Illness to tackle mental health stigma across Hackney.
Our Annual Record