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A Productive First Year for Positive Pathways
Community First’s Positive Pathways supported volunteering project is approaching the end of its first year and it has been a very productive year.
The Team have taken part in numerous activities throughout the year including: Helping prepare garden plots for children to grow plants and vegetables at several schools across the area including Mill Rythe, Hayling College and Mengham Schools in partnership with Hayling Island Horticultural Society’s Growing Together project, at Trosnant School, and Park Community School’s smallholding.
They have undertaken conservation work at Staunton Country Park, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, alongside Pfizer employees at Billy’s Lake and Friends of the Hermitage Stream in Leigh Park, and joined forces with Pfizer again to build a path and renovate the garden for Waterlooville Guides.
They have also carried out befriending in several sheltered housing schemes, painting at Waterlooville Community Centre, helped at events such as St Francis Christmas Starlight Festival, hosted a large mental health awareness event ‘Positive Living’ at Leigh Park Community Centre, and started work on a sensory garden at Hollybank, a mental health supported residential property which they will be continuing next year with donations of wood and slate by local builder Darren Clark & Sons.
Volunteers Donna and Amanda Knight said “we suffer with several phobias and anxiety and started volunteering with Positive Pathways in the summer, we didn’t think we would be able to stick with it in the beginning as we find groups difficult and intimidating but we are building confidence, are enjoying the activities and have made lots of new friends”.
Volunteer Mark Bannon has changed his life around following some very difficult circumstances and has recently completed a coaching and mentoring course and is now helping others with support needs. Mark said “my life was very different a year or 2 ago; I worked hard initially by myself to turn my life around but being on the Positive Pathways programme has helped me build confidence, make new friends and I’ve recently learned how to cook healthily on a cookery course provided by Community First”.
Positive Pathways is a Community First supported volunteering project that helps people with a wide range of barriers to volunteer as part of a team, helping build confidence, provide a range of volunteering opportunities to build skills, offer training for personal development and social opportunities to reduce isolation, build communication skills and help people progress towards their goals.
Coordinator Ina Allum said “I’m really proud of all our volunteers; many have had very difficult lives and circumstances and have worked so hard to overcome their barriers. Members are very supportive of each other and as a team they achieve so much, often surprising community groups with how much they achieve and who benefit greatly from their efforts. I’m proud to work for an organisation that has the health and wellbeing of the community at its heart and I feel lucky to have such a rewarding job”.
For more information about Positive Pathways, Employee Volunteering or Community Training please contact Community First on 0300 500 8085 or email email@example.com.
Read more about the project at www.cfirst.org.uk/positivepathways/