When: Fridays 10:15am-12:15pm
Where: The Castle Leisure Centre, Elephant & Castle.
Purpose of role
To participate in a weekly gym session supporting 6-8 vulnerable service-users.
Together is a leading national charity working for wellbeing: that means we support people with mental health needs to get what they want from life and to feel happier. We do this by running a range of services across the country; by campaigning and doing research; and by educating local communities about their own mental health needs. In everything they do they are inspired and guided by the hopes and wishes of the people we support.
The aim is NOT to provide personal training or to be a specialist. The role is to give encouragement and support to service-users who may come up against barriers stopping them from engaging with the gym. For instance, with new members: not being registered (no Access Card), not knowing how to use the changing lockers, not sure how to use equipment, not confident to talk to gym staff or other members when issues arise.
Service-users have said they want a volunteer who can encourage them whilst working-out together and appropriately praises their achievements. Equally, a volunteer being able to highlight if a service-user is ‘pushing it too far’ and illustrate keeping safe in the gym. This could be in relation to the volunteer helping the service-user in recognising one’s personal limits and being the link with gym staff if needed to be shown/reminded how to appropriately use gym equipment.
After working-out, the volunteer and service users meet for a social drink in the leisure centre café and discuss nutrition and fitness goals (volunteer refreshment expenses reimbursed). This time also helps service-users to break isolation and uphold a friendship circle.
Who are they looking for?
- The volunteer would need to like fitness and participating in a gym session.
- It would be advantageous if they had a background in health/fitness/sports but not essential.
- The volunteer needs to have good listening skills, patience and empathy.
- Most of the service-users are considered vulnerable for instance we have two users who have visual impairment, one has special needs etc. Physical, hands-on/manual handling of the service-user is NOT sought from the volunteer.
- Even with their vulnerabilities, service-users can move independently.
What the volunteer would gain from the volunteering opportunity:
- acquire new skills
- update CV
- improving self confidence
- meeting new people
- help to make a difference in the community
- DBS check required
- Authorised volunteering expenses will be reimbursed.
- Induction arrangements will be arranged, as well as being closely supported by the Volunteer & Training Coordinator. There are many opportunities for on-going training and other additional volunteering possibilities within the organisation as well.
Main point of contact
Sandy Newborn, Volunteer and Training Coordinator
Address: Employment Academy, 29 Peckham Road, London, SE5 8UA