Step Together gets people who are excluded from society participating in volunteering and community engagement opportunities which address their specific needs, interests and aspirations, and which help them to build a positive future for themselves. We do this through the provision of one-to-one tailored support, enabling clients to address their individual barriers and supporting them to develop the confidence, skills and attitudes necessary to move their lives forward.
We provide support to approximately 850 people per year who are excluded from society and who face a unique set of barriers to integration into the community. We prioritise those for whom other sources of support have failed or alternative support is simply not available.
All of our clients can be classed as having complex needs. We define complex needs as ‘two or more issues affecting physical, mental, social or financial wellbeing’. These may include mental ill-health, problematic substance or alcohol misuse, current/historical offending, long-term unemployment, critical injury and trauma; experience of domestic violence and abuse; and problems finding and maintaining housing.
Our clients are referred from a wide range of partner agencies across England and Scotland, including local councils, prisons and probation services, employment services, local community groups and support groups, and larger charities such as the St Giles Trust, Riverside, Help for Heroes and the Princes Trust.
We are offering a supported bespoke volunteering service for West of England Works partners.
Supported, bespoke volunteering service
For most of our clients, employment is a distant option until they have acquired the right skills and attitudes to hold down a job. Volunteering allows them the chance to experiment with different interests and strengths and consider other career routes, which could lead to more sustainable employment down the line. Our outreach team support clients by:
-Providing one-to-one coaching, exploring individual skills, interests and barriers to volunteering, challenging perceptions and attitudes towards volunteering and identify future goals and aspirations.
-Negotiating individual volunteering placements based on the client’s needs, and then supporting them into that role, including smoothing the process with the placement charity, accompanying clients to interviews or going with them to volunteer, for as long as it takes for them to feel confident and able to continue on their own.
-Providing mentor support during the placement, supporting both volunteers and the charities in overcoming barriers that may arise and, if need be, recommending follow-on placements to progress abilities and confidence.
We know of no other charity in the UK that operates a similar programme model to Step Together, coaching people at the margins of society into bespoke volunteering opportunities that help them move forward with their lives. We don’t have a list of voluntary opportunities available; instead we work to find the right placement for each individual, often placing them in roles specifically created to suit their needs. This can be as varied as being a pizza chef at the YMCA, helping with steam carriage restoration, or taking part in an archaeological dig at the Battle of Waterloo site.
We don’t count the hours nor days it takes to affect change; helping people with complex needs takes time and we work flexibly to meet the individual needs of every person we help, for as long as it takes for them to let go of us.
Cost: For the WoEW programme, we will charge a unit price per client of £250, regardless of how much support the client requires.
Get in Touch
If you would like to find out more about Step Together volunteering’s offerings you can contact Mike Silvey via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on the phone 0117 9559042.