Customer Stories

Volunteers Needed

21 June 2018

Across Norfolk people give their time to support local communities and causes. One new project seeking volunteers is the Connect Programme, helping support young people in the Norfolk area. The programme is being run by employment, care and education organisation, Prospects.

Prospects, part of Shaw Trust Group spoke with two of Shaw Trust’s volunteers already supporting people, Michael and Chris. Shaw Trust volunteers give more than 150,000 hours to the charity each year. Their national network of volunteers is made up of more than 1,400 people.

Volunteering enables individuals to help others as well as develop skills. Volunteering work in the work place can help people get into employment, by giving them a valuable insight into the world of work and the experience they need to take the next steps into employment.

Michael is a volunteer Business Mentor with Shaw Trust, who has been donating his time and expertise since May 2017. Michael runs one-to-one and group business sessions, enabling participants by sharing their experience and reflecting on what others do, to develop their own start-up business. The sessions help bring people together and build a community where they can share resources and build confidence. Volunteering has a positive impact on both Michael and the people he supports.

Michael says: “Working alongside others to identify their business objectives offers a continuous reflection on the work I do and helps me refine and understand my work in more complexity. Volunteering is a win-win situation as it also very rewarding and improves self-confidence and awareness.”

Chris has been a volunteer with Shaw Trust for the last 14 months. Chris has been volunteering on and off throughout his life, now retired he thought it was a great opportunity to dedicate his time to helping others. Chris volunteers to help people who are long term unemployed apply for jobs and update CVs enabling them to find employment. He also volunteers with Ixion, also part of Shaw Trust, helping others to start their own businesses.

Chris said: “Being able to see individuals benefit from advice, support and my own experiences is very rewarding. It’s great to know that the contribution you’re making can really impact others.”

Chris says that volunteering is suitable for everyone, it’s good for meeting others as well as developing skills.” It gives you a different perspective on things.” And “that volunteering is also good for young people, it can help them to develop life skills as well as career skills they can take with them in the future.”

Shaw Trust are looking for volunteers who can offer young people support and encouragement on the Connect Programme by:

• Mentoring them to access positive activities in their local community.

• Support initial attendance at these activities.

• Enable them to improve their confidence, resilience and wellbeing.

The Connect Programme is a new initiative provided by Prospects offering targeted support to young people across Norfolk. By volunteering you will give our young people the chance to reduce risk-taking behaviour, develop new skills and increase their confidence.

Mentoring will take place in a number of venues, including schools, youth clubs and community spaces. You will regularly liaise with a Youth Support Worker, who will be delivering a person-centred support package to the young people. To find out more about the mentoring role visit: or call 0300 247 2222 or email

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