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Leonard Cheshire Disability - England
Start date: Aug 15, 2016, End date: Dec 14, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Leonard Cheshire Disability is the UK’s leading charity supporting people with disability. Leonard Cheshire Disability has grown to have over 200 services throughout the UK over 65 years. We support over 21,000 disabled people in the UK, providing innovative services that give disabled people the opportunity to live a life without barriers. We believe that disabled people should have the freedom to live their lives the way they choose - with the opportunity and support to live independently, to contribute economically, and to participate fully in society. The needs and aspirations of disabled people are at the heart of what we do. The EVS project will take place in three Leonard Cheshire services, located across the UK: Marske Hall, Mickley Hall, Gloucestershire House. The project involve 6 volunteers, 2 volunteers per every service and will last 12 months with starting dates in September and October 2016. The volunteers come from Spain, Germany and Greece. Volunteers selected for this project have background in social work, psychology or physical education and have some experience supporting people with disability. They are great candidates with the right among of experience and interest in disability issues, and they all express their wish to continue working towards bettering the conditions and rights for people with disability and interest in developing their competences in the field social care and working with disabled people.The overall aim of this project is to empower and enable disabled people to access social, leisure and employment activities. This is achieved through the following objectives:1. To accompany residents with the activities they wish to do inside and outside our care homes2. To assist with and introduce new activities to the activities programme and introduce intercultural perspective3. To support residents in fulfilling personal long-term goals4. To support fundraising efforts to raise funds that will support the above mentioned aim5. To raise disability awareness for the volunteers and in the local communityThe EVS volunteers support our staff teams in providing an active and stimulating environment for our residents. Our volunteers are actively involved in shaping their EVS experiences by developing the activities plan with residents and staff. We encourage volunteers to bring their own ideas, skills and passions to share with residents. As a result, the role is varied depending on their own skills and interests, and the needs of residents and the activities they like to engage in. Our residents make sure their home has a lively atmosphere with activities such art and craft workshops, quizzes, IT workshops, music group, cooking and gardening. The care homes also organise special events such as fundraisers, holiday celebrations, cultural evenings or sports nights. Volunteers also support on social outings, day trips and educational events such as attending college classes. Hence the delivery of activities is heavily influenced by the skills and motivation of our volunteers to design a creative and fun activity programme.EVS volunteers have lasting impact on many different aspects of our service users’ lives. Volunteers enable disabled people to be more independent, enjoy a greater choice of activities and form a healthy social relationship. The local community learn more about other cultures and disability. With support from EVS volunteers we are able to host more local social events that spread the EVS program and disability issues, as well as creates a warm and welcoming environment within our care homes. An active and varied social life for our residents is often key to their health, happiness and quality of life. Thus the impact of the EVS project at addresses a very basic human need of developing real and meaningful relationships, which is a fantastic result. Leonard Cheshire Disability is a huge supporter of the EVS program due to the massive flow on effects this program has for our residents, local communities we work with, staff and our volunteers. EVS opens a dialogue between young people from from different countries about how different societies and cultures work with disabled people and works towards Leonard Cheshire Disability's goal of challenging perceptions of disability.

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