Wendover House encourage the children in placement to become active members of the local community, to further their personal development and allow them to build life skills. The children are able to embed themselves within the local community by taking part in local volunteer opportunities. The Carrington Residents and Tenants Association runs a range of volunteer opportunities through the year, projects include working in the community garden, maintain the churchyard at St John’s Church and Family Fun Days at Pirate Park. In addition to this Nottingham City Council runs a ‘Spring Clean’ litter picking scheme each year.
The children in placement are currently completing the Youth Achievement Award programme and have all reached the final stages of the top-level award. As part of this stage the children are required to complete a work experience placement, depending on the child age, social skills and interest this can be hard to achieve. However local volunteer opportunities enable the staff team to bespoke each placement to suit each child’s needs, allowing them to gain further experience in an area that interests them and achieve the final stages of the award.
Recent examples at Wendover House include one child running a volunteer dog walking service as their work experience placement, while another child is delivering a range of social values projects to support a variety of causes. Alongside this, two young people have applied for part-time Saturday jobs to volunteer in charity shops on Sherwood High Street. There are over ten different charity shops that are a walking distance to Wendover House, which provides the children with the opportunity to support a range of courses.
As volunteering is promoted for the children and the staff team, it enables everyone to make a positive contribution and achieve good overall outcomes. In addition to the children being accepted and part of the local community, there is a massive range of benefits to being involved in volunteer events and local community activities. Children can gain experience, confidence and learn new skills which will help them gain employment and life skills. Children can pursue their own interests and develop aspiration, in addition to learning more about the struggles of other people in the community around them and in some cases the wider world.
Since becoming operational Wendover House has developed links with many locally based charitable organisations such as Broxtowe Youth Homeless, Nottingham Street Knights, Free Period, Equation and Framework. Many of these organisations offer services that the children may need in the future once leaving care, so no longer have the current levels of support which they currently receive. By building relationships with these services, Wendover House is taking steps to provide future support for our children by continuing to build strong links with the local community.