Volunteering with Adults

Do you want to help support adults with learning disabilities in your local community?

Look no further, we have all the opportunities you could imagine! From weekly clubs to special events and day trips, even holidays. 

Volunteering with Keynsham Mencap is a second-to-none experience when it comes to making a real difference to your own and other people’s lives. 

Could you help us with regular volunteering at our weekly clubs in Keynsham?

We run 5 clubs each week for adults and while there is a paid Team Leader and often a Deputy responsible for each club they could not run without our dedicated volunteers. 

A summary of each club is below and you’ll find more details of the fun you’ll have and what’s expected of our volunteers on the individual club pages. 

You can volunteer for one club or several clubs and we can be flexible if you can’t make it every week. We just ask that you let us know your availability so we can plan. The clubs for adults are all based in Keynsham (Postcode BS31).

18+ Club (Thursday)

Rather than watching Eastenders how about helping out at our 18+ social club? It runs every Thursday evening in Keynsham and could be the highlight of your week as well as many of our members.

There is an exciting programme of events that is different every week and members choose to take part in either in-club activities or go on the external trip in the mini bus. View an example programme.

Volunteers dancing at 18+ Club nightOh and there is often music which is a cue for spontaneous dancing. It helps if you can either do “dad dancing” or “dance like no-one is watching” as demonstrated by volunteers Niall and Toby who can do both!

So what would you actually be doing at club, apart from occasional dancingA spontaneous conga line of members and volunteers (which is optional of course)?  Volunteers are needed to help support members taking part in activities such as crafts, themed nights, discos, circus skills, movie night, drumming, also running the tuck shop and helping clear up at the end of the evening.

Volunteers also go on the external trips – to the pub, bowling, for a meal, crazy golf, Bath Christmas market, campfire in the woods, ice cream parlour etc – so there will be lots of variety in what you do. More details on 18+ Club.

Go Explore Club (Wednesday)

Go Explore Club was created specifically for members aged 18-25 to help them transition from the kids clubs and has a focus on developing independence and life skills.

Every third week there is a trip out into the community to do something such as a meal out or trampolining. More details on Go Explore Club

 

Fitness Club (Monday)

Fitness Club is for over 16s and is run by a qualified fitness instructor. Its an opportunity for members to get active and get involved in activities that match their abilities. Volunteers assist members so they can take part in activities and provide buckets of encouragement and praise. More about Fitness Club.

 

Football Club (Tuesday)

We have a members football team who compete in the Somerset FA South West Ability Counts League and play regular league matched against other teams from the region. More about Football Club.

 

 

Boccia Club (Tuesday)

Boccia (pronounced bot-cha) is a Paralympics sport similar to bowls. Our club offers members an opportunity to take part in this fun, inclusive sport and develop their skills.

You don’t need to be particularly sporty or active to volunteer, just a willingness to get involved and a positive attitude! More about Boccia Club.

Could you help us by volunteering for day trips and special events

These are one off events that can be on weekend days  or evenings in the week and they tend to look something like this: 

Volunteering for the Millfield trip doesn't have to involve this

  • Christmas Dinner – staff at our regular venue even ask to work the night we are there!
  • Theatre trips – our members are big fans of musical theatre so we often fill a 52 seater coach to go to the Hippodrome
  • Millfield School – a wonderful day each year where Millfield students put on 50+ activities for people with learning disabilities in the South West. Its very well managed indeed 
  • Shindigs – a festival for people with learning disabilities that debuted in 2017, we hope it will continue

This is just an example of the extra events that Keynsham Mencap run for our members. These events cannot happen without volunteers so come on, get involved.

Could you help us by volunteering for holidays?

Boys on tour with volunteer Mel in the middle3 or 4 times a year, between June and September, we take members on holiday usually in the South West either for a week or a long weekend. Its a fantastic opportunity for members to experience more independence, hang out with their friends and have oodles of fun.

For volunteers its an opportunity to really get to know members better and make a huge contribution to this special occasion. Its not a relaxing holiday for volunteers as we’d be kidding if we let you think it was restful however its possibly the most rewarding of all our opportunities.

Did you watch the holiday video above? Could you see yourself in those volunteer’s shoes? 

Why you might want to volunteer with adults 

Getting involved with Keynsham Mencap satisfies many reasons why you might want to volunteer, including these:

  • gain some experience in an area you want to work in
  • improve your CV – volunteering is an admirable way to spend some of your free time
  • support a good cause – charities like ours rely on volunteers, we need you!
  • do something useful with your free time instead of watching TV
  • meet new and interesting people, both members and volunteers
  • challenge yourself – you may do things you’ve not done before
  • learn new skills such as driving a mini bus or learning sign language
  • simply putting a smile on someone else’s face 
  • it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside

See what other volunteers have to say:

Come along and give it a go! I had no experience at all of working with individuals with additional needs and it was all brand new to me but starting to volunteer at Mencap was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I was planning on volunteering for 6-12 months but over 4 years later I’m still here because I love it!  Georgia

The best thing about volunteering is seeing how happy all the members are just from doing little activities. Molly

Mencap has helped me as well as a person, I have learned lots and am very grateful for it! My confidence has grown, my knowledge has deepened and I love coming every week! There have been times where I have had a bad day, but coming here and getting involved with the members lifted me up massively! It has helped me choose a future career in care too! Charlotte

At least give it a go! It does not require any specialist training or expertise just a positive attitude. The best thing about volunteering is  knowing you are making a difference and seeing less advantaged people enjoying themselves. Toby

Knowing that by volunteering I am helping put smiles on people’s faces is very rewarding. Gaining balance in my life and a sense of perspective that makes me appreciate what I have and know that with very little effort I can create joy in other people’s lives. I enjoy driving the bus and knowing that helps Mencap to have that skill. I also love the holidays which is like a mega volunteering session. Its an opportunity to really get to know members better and understand the challenges they face. Its also great to see them having so much fun. Kath

So what do you need to do to get involved? 

If you are interested in volunteering contact Laura for an infomal chat on 01179 865659 or emailing laura@keynshammencap.org.uk.

You can come along to ‘have a look’ and chat to other volunteers at the clubs – do call the office to arrange this though rather than just turning up. That way we’ll know to look out for you and make sure there is someone ready to show you round.

By arrangement you can just give it a go, come along for a few weeks and see if its for you.

Opportunities for children and adults with Learning Disabilities